Call For Clarity On Future Of Putney Post Office

Lay your cards on the table & come clean demands council leader

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Council leader Ravi Govindia is calling on post office chiefs to lay their cards on the table and come clean about the future of Putney’s last remaining post office.

The call for transparency comes just days after the Post Office announced that a proposal to relocate their branch from 214 Upper Richmond Road to new premises at 254 Upper Richmond Road was being abandoned.

The need to find a new home has arisen because the owner of the building that currently houses the branch is planning to redevelop the site. The Post Office’s lease on those premises expires next month and they could then be forced out at any time.

The Post Office was planning to move the branch to new premises a short walk away. But now - with just days to go before it was due to reopen – the company says the space is not big enough and the project has been dropped.

Now with the redevelopment of their current premises looming and no alternative site yet identified, concern is growing over the continued survival of the town centre’s sole remaining post office.

Cllr Govindia is now calling for urgent talks with post office managers to ensure the long term future of the branch.

He said, “In recent years Putney has seen its post office network dramatically eroded to the point where there is only one single branch serving tens of thousands of people in Putney.

“The future of this last remaining branch is now hugely uncertain. The owner of the building has said quite clearly that he plans to redevelop the site and that the post office has to move out. Unfortunately the building identified as an alternative appears to be no longer suitable.

“What concerns us is the lack of clarity over what will happen next. According to the post office, the branch “will continue to operate from its current site”.

“This however provides little or no reassurance. Unless the company’s managers have struck a deal with the owner that they are not telling anyone about, we are faced with the imminent closure of yet another local post office.

“It is vital that post office chiefs redouble their efforts to find new town centre premises that are big enough to provide the full range of counter services and it is vital they do this now. Customers should not have to face any loss of services even for a short period of time.”

October 7, 2011