Steve McCabe MP asks Minister to support Kings Heath Crown Post Office

Innovation and Skills to intervene and set up a rescue package for Kings Heath Crown Post Office in his constituency to prevent the shoehorning of services into a corner of WH Smiths on the High Street.

 

The busy Kings Heath Post Office in Steve McCabe’s constituency is being threatened with re- location to WH Smiths further down Kings Heath High Street. Many constituents have contacted Steve to express concerns about these proposals as they do not think WH Smiths is at all appropriate as it simply could not handle large amount of queues especially as there would be a reduction in counters from 8 to 4.

 

Steve McCabe has also raised concerns about access to WH Smiths and does not believe wheelchair users, people using mobility scooters and parents with pushchairs could access the store easily.

 

Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, made a statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday 27 November 2013 announcing the Government will pledge a further £640 million to their Post Office modernisation programme.

 

Jo Swinson MP told MP’s this money was being made available to invest and protect services that are vital to the community but aren’t financially viable on their own. The modernisation programme is meant to ensure Post Offices have modern premises which are easier and faster to use with shorter waiting times to ensure their future viability as a business.

 

Steve McCabe MP said:

I asked the Minister if she would provide a rescue package for Kings Heath Post Office in my constituency out of the further £640 million of funding she has announced to prevent the shoehorning of services into a corner of a WH Smiths Store.

 

“Mums and dads with buggies, disabled and elderly people who use Kings Heath Post Office certainly won’t agree that plans to move the Post Office to WH Smiths will mean services are modernised and easier to access so it was very disappointing to hear the Minister saying she won’t intervene.”

 

Commenting on the Government’s announcement, Dave Smith, from the Communications Workers Union, representing staff at Kings Heath Crown Office said:

“At a time when government should be supporting local communities and businesses they are now squeezing the life out of High Streets all across the U.K by closing Crown Post Offices.

“Kings Heath already has a post office that ticks all the right boxes where access and location are concerned and cannot see the justification for transferring post offices services to another owner and location further down the High St.”

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