Campaigners to stage final protest against East Finchley Post Office franchise plans

Councillor Alison Moore helped collect signatures earlier this year outside East Finchley Post Office, alongside resident Rachel McKenna with her daughter Chyna, Councillor Arjun Mittra and Sarah Sackman

Councillor Alison Moore helped collect signatures earlier this year outside East Finchley Post Office, alongside resident Rachel McKenna with her daughter Chyna, Councillor Arjun Mittra and Sarah Sackman

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Following months of protests, campaigners will stage their final demonstration against plans to move East Finchley Post Office next week.

The Communications Workers’ Union (CWU), which represents postal workers, has organised the rally to take place outside the Post Office in Viceroy Parade on Wednesday, May 21 – the day before it will be franchised to Universal Office Equipment (UOE) in High Road.

The CWU has run a long campaign alongside Barnet borough councillors in a bid to prevent the move, claiming it would be detrimental to staff and the quality of service.

Huw Davies, a CWU representative, said: “Among many other issues, we have three main concerns about the Post Office’s proposals, including the lack of adequate facilities provided on relocation to new premises, a detrimental impact on the service provided to the public, and no guarantee of long-term service provision by the franchisee.

“In particular, we have highlighted the issue of questionable access facilities in the new premises for customers using wheelchairs and walking frames or who have mobility problems, as well as mothers with prams, push chairs and children’s buggies.”

More than 2,350 people signed a petition against the plans, and now the CWU is calling on them to turn out to the protest which will begin at 5pm outside the Post Office on May 21.

Mr Davies added: “The Post Office should listen to the voice of the customer and their elected local representatives. 

“We are still asking all residents of East Finchley to continue to voice their opposition to the Post Office’s plans before the franchise goes ahead.”

But the Post Office has remained firm in its decision to franchise the East Finchley branch.

A Post Office spokesman said: “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in East Finchley and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers as we bring our network to break even.

“The best way for us to safeguard services in East Finchley for the future and provide a sustainable service has been for us to change the way we operate it.

“We are confident that Universal Office Equipment will provide a fantastic service as our new franchise partners.”

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