West Wickham Post Office set for franchise

PUBLISHED: 15:22 02 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:22 02 July 2013

West Wickham Post Office is ‘unsustainable’ in its current state, according to one of its senior managers.

Beckenham MP Bob Stewart, who has received many letters from concerned residents about its future, met with Simon Burman, senior stakeholder manager at the Post Office, who told him they are seeking a franchise partner.

Mr Burman said for every £1.64 spent on operating West Wickham, the Post Office makes just £1, making it unsustainable in the long term.

The government has stated that the Post Office must break even, meaning that 70 of the remaining 370 Crown Post Offices will have to go into franchise.

Mr Stewart said: “I completely sympathise with the genuine concerns raised by local residents over the future of West Wickham Post Office. I have sought a guarantee from Mr Burman that when a potential franchise partner is found there will be a full public consultation on the matter, so that local residents can have their say on the plans.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We must change the way the West Wickham Crown Post Office branch operates to ensure its long term viability and to maintain services for people in the area.

“We launched our application process for retailers to express their interest in operating the branch earlier this year. The process has now closed but no decisions have been made. Once a suitable retailer is identified there will be a six week public consultation to gain the views of customers and interested parties. If no suitable partner can be found a Crown branch will remain. Any move would take place before April 2015.”

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