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Council addresses 'folly' of planned Post Office move

Boston Borough Council has sent a no-holds barred letter to the Post Office raising "grave concerns" over a proposed move from the town's main Post Office building to WH Smith.

                                        Post Office Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

Whichever way you look at it the current main Post Office in Boston is an imposing building.

The letter, from council leader Cllr Peter Bedford and signed by all the group leaders of the different political parties on the council, spells out opposition to the plans.

The letter describes the Post Office building as "iconic" and stresses its importance is not to be understated and its function, use and ongoing repair and maintenance in the heart of the town is an overriding concern.

"This Boston Post Office is a cherished friend in our town and everything needs to be done to help it remain where it is and in the building originally designed for it," said Cllr Bedford.

                                        Post Office entrance Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window

The significant physical constraints of the existing WH Smith store, especially in terms of narrowness of access and congestion, have also been raised.

"To relocate the town's main central Post Office into this badly-configured space appears folly, and we do not consider it will be successful," said Cllr Bedford.

He pointed out that the Post Office building is listed for its special architectural or historic interest, is probably the most significant and eye-catching heritage building in that part of town and contributes to the character of that part of the Boston Conservation Area. The Post Office is reminded of a mandatory Government instruction that public bodies owning heritage assets should not leave them empty and that options for re-use should be considered before deciding to sell.

Council Bedford, said: "We have written to the Post Office  making a forceful case for the retention of services at the existing building. We are all concerned about the physical constraints in WH Smith and the future of the iconic Post Office building, purpose built to serve the town as its main post office."

Post Office customer forum

Customers and interested parties have been invited to learn more about the proposals at New England Hotel at Wide Bargate on Thursday, November 7

The customer forum will begin with a drop-in information session from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. There will then be a formal presentation at 7pm followed by a question-and-answer session.

Roger Gale, Crown Network General Manager, said: "We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in Boston and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate the branch, so if the move goes ahead it will be run by WH Smith High Street Ltd rather than by us directly."

Subject to public consultation, Boston Post Office will have five serving positions following its move - a mixture of one screened and four open-plan counters. The relocated Boston Post Office would offer the same wide range of products and services including a Post & Go self-service kiosk.

Post Office opening hours at the proposed new location would be 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 2pm on Sundays.

Public consultation  started on Monday, October 14, Post Office Ltd welcomes feedback on issues such as the location, the proposed site, accessibility, or community issues that customers would like considered before a final decision is made on this proposal. The consultation will close on November 25, and the proposed month for any relocation is February, 2014.

During the consultation, submissions can be made through our online questionnaire at postofficeviews.co.uk, by FREEPOST Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, via the Customer Helpline on 08457 22 33 44 or Textphone 08457 22 33 55.

Customers are asked to quote branch code 003202 in all communications.