Wokingham’s busy, successful Post Office is to be handed to WH Smiths – the same company which is regularly voted among the worse on the high street and which might not even be there in a year. Join Wokingham Labour’s campaign to stop this terrible plan.
What are the plans?
The plan to close Wokingham’s much-loved Crown Post Office must be stopped. The services are to be franchised (privatised) and moved to WHSmith, with no proper consultation on the closure.
Wokingham’s cherished Post Office is at the heart of the local community and an important community asset for many residents, particularly the older and more vulnerable. It is not just a collection or services, but it is part of the historic character of our market town, and a community resource that we all own.
When is the consultation?
There has been no proper consultation on the controversial closure, leaving residents angry, frustrated and feeling voiceless. The Post Office is owned by us all – the lack of consultation specifically on its closure is disgraceful.
What is Wokingham Labour Party doing?
Wokingham Labour Party have been campaigning hard to stop this plan. We have regularly been out and about in the town centre talking to residents about the planned closure. The strength of public support for our campaign to save the Post Office has been overwhelming, with over 5,000 signatures on our petition calling for the plans to be abandoned. Wokingham’s Labour councillors have ensured both Wokingham Borough and Wokingham Town council have opposed the move.
Why is the closure a bad idea?
The closure would strike a severe blow to Wokingham, and be a backwards step after the huge amount of investment in Wokingham’s town centre recently. We’ve spoken to thousands of people in Wokingham and they share our concerns:
- WHSmith’s record for customer service and store standards is poor – it has been voted the worst high street retailer for five of the past eight years, including 2018
- Similar moves in other places have seen longer queues and increased waiting times
- Customer service will deteriorate
- Customer advice will worsen as most experienced staff leave
- The range of services currently provided will not be available in WHSmith
- Current access for disabled or less mobile people in WHSmith is not adequate
- WHSmith’s future is reported to be in jeopardy – what will happen to our Post Office services if the Wokingham store closes?
- The Post Office is separate from Royal Mail, who currently use the Post Office building for its parcel collection service. There is considerable concern over what will happen to parcel collection if the Post Office itself is closed
What about the Post Office staff?
To add insult to injury, a number of hard-working, well-trained Post Office staff are at risk of being replaced with minimum wage roles. Despite massive public opposition to the franchise, public money will be used to seal the deal in the form of compensation payments to remove existing staff.
What needs to happen now?
The Post Office is wholly owned by the government and there is a dedicated Post Office Minister. We call on our newly knighted MP Sir John Redwood to show his commitment to our constituency. He must make every effort to lobby the Post Office Minister and call for this short-sighted and damaging closure of our Post Office to be abandoned.
Giving our successful and much-loved Post Office to a retailer who might not be there in a year, is not what Wokingham’s people want. The thousands of signatures on our petition, and conversations with thousands of residents, have made it very clear: people want to keep our Crown Post Office where it is.
What can I do?
So please, take a few moments to sign our petition and support our campaign to save our Post Office and keep it where it belongs
"Our Crown Post Office needs to stay in its current location. Over 5,000 people have signed our petition. Please add your voice." Councillor Rachel Burgess