Ever since Post Office Ltd made public their plan to close four post offices in York – Clifton, Haxby Road, Micklegate and Fulford – on 26 November 2007, I was fighing with local residents to save the Fulford Post Office. My main concern was the social impact that closing the post office would have, but unfortunately it was closed.
I believe that our local post offices play a vital role in our community. Whether you are collecting a pension, applying for a passport or just buying some stamps, our post offices are there for us. But all this will change if Labour have their way.
The Government’s new post office closure programme will mean the loss of another 2500 local post offices across Britain.
The last Conservative Government closed 3500 post offices. Labour have already shut 4000 more. These new cuts will decimate the remaining network.
I believe we need more post offices where needed – not more closures. The Lib Dems want to invest in our post office network to give local customers a better
deal. We believe that post offices should have a bright future. Post offices shouldn’t become a thing of the past.
On this page you will find details of the campaign to save the Fulford Post Office. Please keep checking back for any updates.
LIB DEM COUNCILLOR DEMANDS POST OFFICE MEETING
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Fulford, Keith Aspden, has demanded a public meeting on the future of Fulford Post Office. Cllr Aspden wants to give Fulford residents and users of Fulford Post Office the chance to express their views and concerns over its potential closure. The meeting will be held before the consultation period ends on 14th January.
Cllr Aspden has already launched a petition against the closure of Fulford Post Office and informed residents of the need to get behind the post office campaign.
He has now written to Post Watch (the independent inspectorate body of the Post Office Network) and to the Post Office National Consultation Team to organise a public meeting. Whilst Post Watch has responded to say a representative will attend the meeting, the Post Office’s Consultation Team has only provided an automated response and passed the letter to another department.
Cllr Aspden said, “A large number of local people and businesses already rely on Fulford Post Office, and it is all the more important because of the planned building of 700 houses in the Germany Beck development in Fulford.
”I want local representatives, the Parish Council, local residents and staff of the Post Office to have an opportunity to make their views clear to the Post Office Consultation Team and to hear from the Post Office Network.
“It is very frustrating that the Post Office Network is not working with the public during this vital consultation period, but I will be pushing for a local meeting and will write to them again, as I know how important Fulford Post Office is to so many local residents”.
POST OFFICE FAILS TO UNDERSTAND INFORMATION IN CONSULTATION
Fulford Liberal Democrat Councillor, Keith Aspden, has expressed bitter disappointment at the news that Fulford Post Office will close, despite calls from hundreds of Fulford residents and local campaigners, and particularly because the Post Office completely misunderstood information on the planned housing development, Germany Beck, which will bring 700 new houses to Fulford ward.
The Post Office’s decisions document states that “the proposed housing development is not yet confirmed”, and the Post Office has used this as a reason to close Fulford Post Office.
Cllr Aspden, who has led the campaign locally to save Fulford Post Office, said: “My understanding is that the Council did not tell the Post Office that it was yet to receive planning permission for the Germany Beck development. The Post Office obviously failed to clarify information about different phases of the planning process, which they clearly misunderstood.
“The decisions document also referred to a development comprising 1200 houses, but planning permission has in fact been granted for 700, which further suggests that the Post Office does not understand the situation in Fulford. This seems symptomatic of the Post Office’s shambolic consultation which has ignored local views and information, in a bid to meet the Government’s target of 2, 500 closures.
“The Post Office must review its decision for the local community, and I will be contacting the Post Office to make quite clear that the Germany Beck development will be going ahead, in a bid to reverse this decision.”
POST OFFICE APOLOGISES FOR SHAMBOLIC CONSULTATION ERROR
Fulford Councillor, Keith Aspden, has written to the post office, following the incorrect information in the Post Office’s decision document, and concerns that the decision to close Fulford Post Office was based on misunderstood information.
In his response to Cllr Aspden, the Post Office’s Network Development Manager admitted that he had misunderstood different stages of the planning process for Germany Beck, saying, “I apologise if there has been any confusion on my part as to the difference between planning consent and the reserved matters application for the new housing development at Germany Beck.”
The decisions document wrongly stated that the Germany Beck housing development had not yet been confirmed, as if this was a reason for closing Fulford Post Office. However, the Network Development Manager said: “In reality, though, the issue as to whether planning had or hadn’t been granted was not a key factor in the decision to close the branch at Fulford.”
Cllr Keith Aspden said, “The Post Office has proved it really doesn’t care about community need or future viability. It is simply determined to shut post offices to meet the Government target.
“Despite efforts on the part of the Post Office to try to blame the Council for the errors in their consultation document, they have finally taken responsibility for this major error.”
Cllr Aspden said, “It is very frustrating to hear from the Post Office that the development would in fact not make a difference to their decision, even if they had their facts right that the application had been accepted. I will continue to call for the Post Office to review its decision which will have such a detrimental impact on residents in my ward”.
The independent scrutiny body, Post Watch, has recently stated that it “remains opposed to the plan for 3 closures in the City of York and has serious objections to the closure of Micklegate Post Office”.