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Unpopular plan to move Post Office is strongly opposed as ‘ridiculous’

Controversial plans to move the long-standing Chichester city Post Office into the back of a shop have been branded as “complete lunacy” by residents. A public consultation opened this week detailing plans and asking for views on the proposed move for the Post Office from West Street into the Sussex Stationers store in North Street under cost-cutting plans. The Post Office say the relocation would allow them to provide ” the great customer service” it currently does but in a “modern new environment.” But residents have hit out at plans and are urging everyone in the city to “strongly oppose and fight the stupid idea” before the consultation closes on July 20. Campaigner Meredith Smith said: “Anyone that uses the Post Office is aware of how busy it gets. “I cannot remember the last time I went in there and there was not a queue. “So to move the service from a lovely big building, with the approporiate amount of room into the back of what is already a rather small shop is complete lunacy. “It would be different if it was not fit for purpose, or not widely used – but the fact of the matter it is probably one of the most used buildings in Chichester. “It will create mayhem for anyone wanting to use the Post Office. “I hope that anyone who agrees will write to the Post Office and tell them how silly their plans are. “It may not make any difference at all – they obviously want to save money – but it has to be worth a go.” Chichester City Council’s Community Affairs Committee also voted on Monday night to formally oppose plans for the relocation. The Post Office says the move would mean the same “wide range of products and services would be available” and would be run and staffed from the back of the WH Smith store, known locally as Sussex Stationers – though it may not have a cash machine. A spokesman said: “The move is part of our ongoing modernisation of the network and will allow us to maintain a Crown Post Office in Chichester while providing a new modern branch for oour customers in a bright new environment. “The Post Office operation in Chichester will remain a Crown Post Office. “However we believe the WH Smith store will provide an excellent host location. “The new branch will operate from a newly built dedicated open plan Post Office area located on the gorund floor to the rear of the WH Smith store. “Internally the store already has a wide aisles and we will be working with WH Smith to ensure there is sufficient space for customers, including wheelchair users. “There will be four counter serving positions which has been based on current and forecast future business levels.” The public consultation is open until July 20 and the proposed move is planned to take place in October. To have your say visit, email or write to FREEPOST Your Comments or call 03457 223344. The textphone number is 03457 223355.

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