Residents have been urged to fight back in what could be their ‘last chance’ to tell the Post Office to drop plans to downgrade Harrogate’s Crown branch.
For another week running, the Post Office has been slammed by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, after ‘quietly’ organising a public forum to discuss the future of the town’s main branch.
A consultation is ongoing, discussing whether Harrogate’s Crown Post Office on Cambridge Road, should be moved to a concession on the first floor of WHSmith in the Victoria Centre.
But with just a matter of weeks until the consultation closes, the Post Office has organised a drop-in public forum on Monday December 3, where people can air their views and discuss the proposals with representatives of the organisation.
Mr Jones told the Harrogate Advertiser: “This public meeting is our chance – maybe our last chance – to put what we think about the downgrading of our Crown Post Office directly to representatives of the national Post Office organisation.
“Just like the launch of the online consultation, we have been given short notice.
"Just like with the consultation I expect the Post Office will not want to talk about the business moving to the first floor of WHSmith but treat the move as though it is a done deal and talk about other issues.
“Around 1,000 people have contacted me voicing their opposition to this move. Postmasters and postmistresses the length of the country have contacted me telling me that other franchising moves have been detrimental to customers.
“Now is our moment to tell Post Office officials directly that we do not want this to happen here. Even with only a few days notice I encourage your readers to turn up and make their views known.”
The drop-in forum will be held at Harrogate’s Majestic Hotel between 3.30 - 7pm and is open to anyone.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “Whenever we plan to make changes to a branch, we understand that the community may have concerns, which is why we always ask for their feedback.
This is what we’re doing in Harrogate, over a six week consultation period, and of course we will analyse and consider this feedback before making a final decision.
“We’d encourage people to come along, so we can explain why we’re proposing to make these changes and in turn, to hear their view and thoughts on the plans.”
The consultation will close on December 19.