Hove MP speaks out in Commons about Western Road Post Office

Posted On 13 Jan 2019 at 3:29 pm

Hove Labour MP Peter Kyle criticised the “sham consultation” before the closure of the post office in Western Road in a debate in Parliament on “crown post offices”.

Post Office bosses claimed that the number of customers using the branch had declined and that it was no longer “commercially sustainable”.

After a public consultation over its viability, the crown post office was closed down in spite of public protests.

Mr Kyle handed a petition with 5,400 names to the post office, with community activists, before the Western Road branch was closed in February 2016.

Only a year or two later, the Post Office has now opened a new branch in a Western Road newsagent, just yards away from the location of the closed crown post office.

This has raised questions over the sincerity of the public consultation as well as the Post Office’s stated reasons that the original crown office was “commercially unviable”.

Mr Kyle has taken a keen interest in post offices and other public services for many years. He chaired a public meeting about the post office closures back in the summer of 2015 and has followed all subsequent developments closely since then.

In a House of Commons debate in Westminster Hall about franchising on Thursday (10 January), Mr Kyle said: “I have absolutely no doubt that I was misled, that the community I represent was misled and — worst of all — that the customers who used and depended on that post office were misled and the staff who had given a career and indeed a lifetime in work to that post office branch were misled.

“The post office staff’s jobs disappeared and the jobs that have been created in their place have no pension liability and no guarantee that they would have the standards that people who work long-term in the Post Office can expect. And those workers were no longer part of the Post Office family.

“We have a Prime Minister who stood on the steps of Downing Street and said she was going to maintain those sorts of rights and tackle injustices.

“The Post Office is one of her companies. It is an organisation that she runs. However, she has allowed it to dwindle, to be stripped of assets and to be taken away from our high streets and replaced with something that has less value, makes less of a contribution to our communities and that offers less stability and value in the workplace to the people who work for it.”

Mr Kyle then called on the Business Minister responsible for postal affairs, Kelly Tolhurst, to intervene.

He said: “I say to the minister directly that I understand that she has said that it is not her job to meddle with the running of the Post Office.

“However, in times such as this, I and my community expect her to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in, because if branches are being taken from our high streets, and MPs and our communities are being misled, we are their elected officials. She is speaking on behalf of the government and we expect her to act.”

  1. saveHOVE Reply

    The same moron who decimated the postal service in Canada and took away HOME DELIVERY of postis behind the destruction of OUR Royal Mail. People had to collect it from a tiny box in a bank of them in a nearby street (my sister).

    Now, some years on from her disastrous decisions, I learn that home delivery is to be reinstated in the areas where it was terminated.

    If a war or hackers ‘terminated’ our access to the internet or satellites were targeted and neutralised we would again NEED the snail mail and land lines that people are now silly enough to consider expendable. Power failures too end communications electronically.

    We KNEW in that public meeting that we were being lied to. They just wanted to be rid of pension liabiity and to realise the capital on selling that post office building. Monsters.

    I hope Peter’s words embarrassed and stung. Roll on yet another General Election.

  2. bradly Reply

    and what is the address and post code of the new post office and opening times please?

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      It is the other side of City Books from the previous Post Office! A surreal situation.

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