The Post Office
148 Old Street
Dear Ms Vennells
Lupus Street Post Office
I am writing to register Westminster Labour Councillors’ total opposition to the closure of Lupus Street Post Office.
I was at the well-attended Public Meeting at Churchill Gardens Residents’ Hall on 29th May when it was revealed that;
• Residents face a 20 minutes’ walk to the nearest alternative post offices in Vauxhall Bridge Road and Ebury Street with no direct bus links. This is of particular concern to older, infirm and disabled residents.
• The queues at Vauxhall Bridge Road post office are already regularly stretched outside on the pavement, a fact acknowledged by your representatives. The fact that your representatives are aware of this fact and yet are contemplating increasing the size of queues at an already over-capacity post office says volumes about the Post Office’s understanding of ‘customer service’
• The Post Office in Vauxhall Bridge Road does not have access for disabled customers with wheelchairs and the Post Office representatives could not say how much it would cost to do the required works.
• The Post Office representatives at the meeting say that Lupus Street Post Office ‘loses £100,000 a year’; they say that for every £1 of income it costs the post office £1.84. However, statistics provided by the Post Office to the CWU suggest that the figure is £1.33. The confusion over this key financial aspect is of serious concern and casts doubt on the reliability of the figures on which you are basing your case for closure.
• The use of Lupus Street post office for Council-related transactions is the highest in Westminster and if this post office is closed residents will have nowhere where they can pay their rent and rates or renew their parking permit in person now that the Council has closed all its One Stop shops
• Lupus Street traders use the Post Office banking facilities and if this post office were to close, local businesses would lose this important business facility, as well as having the increased worry of having to carry cash some distance to banks elsewhere
• Experience elsewhere shows that when post offices close down the surrounding local businesses suffer badly, leading to more empty shops, to the detriment of the wider community.
It is clear that local residents and businesses are totally unanimous in their opposition to the closure of the Lupus Street post office. The Lupus Street post office has been at the heart of the community for decades and its closure would not only hit residents hard, but would lead to a loss of business for local shops.
You may be aware that a petition calling for the Lupus Street post office to remain open has already been signed by over 320 people and other petitions organised by the CWU and the Labour Party have already attracted many hundreds of signatures.
You may also be aware that the opposition to the closure of the Lupus Street post office has cross-party support, as well as the support of local residents ‘associations and community groups.
I urge you to withdraw any thoughts you have of closing Lupus Street Post Office.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg
Leader of the Labour Group
Westminster City Council