This protest will have support from all sides of our community. There will be a film crew present on the day.
When it failed to secure a suitable franchisee in Whitstable it then chose the redevelopment of the Gladstone Road building as an excuse to close Whitstable’s Crown Post Office service.
Post Office Ltd claims that it was not aware that planning permission has existed since 2010 (agreed by Canterbury City Council) for a temporary post office service (TPO) to operate from portacabins on the Gladstone Road car park throughout the development. This is untrue because in August 2010, Paribas Real Estate, acting on behalf of Post Office Ltd, wrote to Canterbury Council as follows: “Post Office Ltd (POL) considers that the amended proposal will be appropriate to accommodate their required temporary operations during the redevelopment of the current Post Office premises.” ie POL knew they had this option.
The closure of Whitstable CPO on Wednesday 29th April is part of a plan to deprive Whitstable of its Crown Post Office status and the statutory obligations that this imposes.
By falsifying a need to close the Post Office temporarily it has sought to lay off all the permanent Crown Post Office staff so that if a portacabin service is ever provided, the use of temporary non-Crown Post Office staff means we will have lost our CPO status.
Post Office Ltd has announced that it is “temporarily” closing the Crown Post Office on Wednesday 29th April at 5.30pm but since it has not guaranteed that any post office service will be maintained in Whitstable thereafter – this closure is indefinite.
In Yorkshire, Post Office Ltd has closed offices “temporarily” for 7 years.
Post Office Ltd were given official notice to quit the site in November 2014 so they have had ample opportunity to plan for this event but despite considerable help from Canterbury City Council in siting portacabins on one of two possible locations on the Gladstone Road car park, Post Office Ltd have chosen not to proceed but instead to close the service in Whitstable.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Since the working group of the Save Whitstable Crown Post Office Campaign, the Chamber of Commerce, Canterbury City Council and Julian Brazier MP have all tried to dissuade Post Office Ltd from breaking post office services to our town – without success – there is now only one path left open to us.
Please would you join our town in a peaceful democratic protest against the closure of our Crown Post Office to draw attention to the facts which Post Office Ltd do not wish to be widely known.
All you have to do is print out this entire message and either add a message of your own and/or sign it and pop it an envelope addressed to:-
Crown & WH Smith Network
Post Office Ltd
20 Finsbury Street
London EC2Y 9QA
Then bring along that envelope to be posted at Gladstone Road Post Office as close to 4pm as possible that afternoon. We will be outside the post office ready to post all our letters to Post Office Ltd in a community action which will be known as: Whitstable’s Last Post.
Bring banners and/or posters if you wish as we expect to have not only local press but national press to cover the event – as well as film crews. Please use the protest name The Last Post. We will have a bugler present on the day.
Please spread the word of this protest to as many people as possible in Whitstable, together with the news that from Friday 30th April you will be expected to travel to other smaller offices in Tankerton, Swalecliffe and Seasalter – all of which are between 1.2 and 2.2 miles away from the existing Crown Post Office and in breach of Post Office Ltd Access Criteria which state that 95% of the urban population must be within 1 mile of a post office. We understand that Post Office Ltd has not reached its target on this national criteria so this move will be a further breach.
Here are our demands:-
1. We demand the continuation of a Crown Post Office Service in Whitstable.
2. We demand that Post Office Ltd immediately opens a Temporary Post Office Service within portacabins on the Gladstone Road car park as per planning consent dated 2010.
3. We demand a guarantee of Post Office services in Whitstable.
Please come along as close to 4.00pm as possible on Wednesday 29th April 2015.
More updates and information can be found on:- https://www.facebook.com/WhitstableCrownPostOffice