Downsizing of Camden High Street post office ‘will see longer queues’
'I don’t think the Post Office is playing fair with the local community', warns London Assembly member
06 December, 2018 — By Helen Chapman
THE Camden Town post office is to be downsized and will run at the back of a stationery shop.
The service in Camden High Street will see its publicly owned “Crown” status surrendered to a franchise operation at the back of retailer UOE, due to open two doors away. The move will mirror the turnaround in East Finchley where a post office now operates from the back of a UOE branch after the closure of its previous site nearby.
Similarly, the Kentish Town post office was downsized earlier this year and services switched to the back of a gift card store.
Labour London Assembly member Andrew Dismore said: “I don’t think the Post Office is playing fair with the local community. When the move happens it is likely that the service will deteriorate. I won’t be surprised if customers will see longer queues.”
A public consultation survey was held this summer but the results did not lead to a change of plan.
Mr Dismore added: “I wish that when they do these consultations they took note of what people have to say rather than just tick-box exercises to say they have done it.”
The Post Office has confirmed the branch will lose its biometric enrolment service for Visa applications.
Garrie Bond from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: “Money from the government should be invested in the Post Office but the company has decided that this is a way to make money – by closing post offices everywhere nationwide.”
But Elliot Jacobs, managing director of UOE, said: “While the new post office will be in a smaller building, a modern open-plan layout will ensure room for eight counter positions. An additional benefit is that the post office will be open seven days a week, a significant increase to current opening hours. I am a huge advocate of the Post Office as an integral part of the local community and we are excited and honoured to add Camden to our growing branch network.”
The service is due to move to 124 Camden High Street in March 2019.