A PETITION with nearly 1,000 signatures to save a long-serving Solihull Post Office is being presented to parliament.
Solihull MP Julian Knight will submit the petition in a last-ditch effort to save the popular and well-used Post Office in Mell Square in Solihull town centre.
As we reported, the post office’s possible relocation after 50 years of service has been met with opposition from residents and the Communication Workers Union.
It is on a list of 74 earmarked for closure across the UK – with many set to have services transferred to WHSmith.
The cutbacks mean the post office in Solihull could be relocated next year, prompting fears of job losses.
The plans are currently subject to a public consultation, with the latest meeting taking place on Monday (March 4).
The chance for residents to have their say ends tonight with the consultation closing.
A Conservative Councillor Katy Blunt tweeted: “I have serious concerns about the accessibility for residents should the Post Office be moved upstairs to WHSmith and I attended the consultation on Monday to raise these directly.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “This move is part of the continuing modernisation of our branch network.
“We believe the most effective way to secure the long term viability of Post Office services in Solihull is through a carefully selected retail partner, and we are confident that our proposal is the best way of safeguarding services for the community for years to come.
“The vast majority of our 11,500 Post Office branches, large and small, are successfully operated in this way with retail partners and we believe this is the best approach to keeping Post Offices in main shopping locations and at the heart of communities where they play an important role in local economies.”
There has been union action and protests outside the Post Office in previous months with MP for Erdington Jack Dromey showing his support.
Green Party councillor Tim Hodgson said: We’re concerned about the downgrade of Solihull’s Post Office from its current dedicated location to WH Smith.
“It’s a busy Post Office which many people rely on and it’s unclear that WH Smith will be able to provide the capacity to cope with the demand.
“The council wants to convert more space in the Town Centre to residential accommodation, and if the Post Office closes, it is likely to be used for housing.
“While we recognise that housing is important in the Town Centre to improve its viability against a declining retail environment, the loss of the Post Office, which creates footfall, would not help the Town Centre.”
To have your say go to: https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/national-consultation-team/solihull-b91-3aa-017246/