Hundreds signed a petition on Saturday calling for the planned closure of a Crown post office to be scrapped.
Councillors, residents and members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) joined forces to protest outside Upper Holloway post office, next to Archway tube station, two weeks after the Post Office announced services would be moving to a smaller, franchised shop.
“The one in Kentish Town has closed, the one in Camden has closed, the one down Holloway has closed,” said Moira Plunkett, from Archway.
She warned that “you won’t get the same level of services” in a franchised shop compared with the Crown post office.
Crown post offices are directly owned and managed by the Post Office, a publicly-owned body which has faced huge cuts by the government in recent years.
These cuts have prompted the emergence of franchised post offices in newsagents and stationery shops throughout the country.
Gary Heather, a CWU member and Labour councillor for Finsbury Park, told the Tribune at the protest on Saturday that, as closures had been going on for years, there were fewer and fewer places where Post Office employees could be redeployed following a closure.
“This is a hub for the community,” he said. “Things are improving around here and we would still like to keep the Crown post office.”
The Post Office has promised a full range of services at the new branch in Today’s Express off-licence at 53 Junction Road – less than 100 metres from the current post office.
A CWU spokesman said: “The people of Upper Holloway deserve far more than an inferior service tucked away at the back of a cramped shop.
“The present, experienced staff will be replaced by a new, smaller workforce with minimal training and employed on far worse terms and conditions.
“There will be no long-term guarantee of service provision either, as the franchise may encounter future financial difficulties.”
He added: “We are urging the Post Office to listen to the views of local people and their democratically-elected representatives and retain Upper Holloway as a Crown post office on its present site.”
Source: Islington Tribune