Oldham MP demands Post Office consultation is taken seriously
Reporter: Jon Chubb
Date published: 12 March 2019
MPs Jim McMahon, Debbie Abrahams and Angela Rayner pictured outside the Oldham town centre post office
A six-week consultation, which finished on 27th February, asked for residents’ opinions on plans which would see the branch closed and moved into the WH Smiths store in Spindles Shopping Centre, but those plans have been slammed by three of the town’s MPs.
Jim McMahon has now taken to his Facebook page to publish a letter he’s received from the Post Office which was received just days after the consultation ended.
In the letter, addressed to all three Oldham MPs, Mr McMahon, Mrs Abrahams and Mrs Raynor, it’s says: “We’re continuing to respond to unprecedented change on high streets and in consumer trends. By adapting to the changing needs of customers we’re making sure Post Offices will matter even more tomorrow than they do today.”
Mr McMahon has voiced concerns about the letter claiming it doesn’t address the fact of the consultation, suggesting the decision to close the branch has already been made.
“I am concerned that a lot of the content is explaining why they have embarked on a closure programme of Crown Post Offices and the shift to WH Smith, rather than giving assurance that the consultation is genuine.”
In the three-page letter to the three Oldham MPs, the Post Office say: “Franchising these directly managed branches is about protecting not reducing services, making sure that we secure a presence on the major high streets of the UK. In fact, our strategy for our network is to increase the convenience and availability of Post Office services for customers.”
#Oldham MPs have received a response from @PostOffice Ltd about the closure of #Oldham branch (attached).— Debbie Abrahams MP (@Debbie_abrahams) March 12, 2019
I do hope the concerns Oldham MPs & local residents submitted in the consultation process will be taken seriously. We now await the decision from the consultation. pic.twitter.com/o629uPpdCX
Responding to the letter, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, echoed the concerns raised by Mr McMahon.
“I do hope the concerns of Oldham MPs and local residents submitted in the consultation process will be taken seriously. We now await the decision from the consultation.”
Post Office hasn’t indicated when they expect the results of the consultation to be published but they have said they are “We are currently assessing the feedback received including that contained in your formal response and we expect to be able to announce the decision soon.”
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing email@example.com , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.