Andrew Turner has criticised the Post Office for undertaking a consultation exercise on the relocation of Newport Post Office only after the decision has been made to move it. The Island’s MP received a letter this week from the Post Office telling him they are ‘proposing’ to move the Newport branch into the revamped Co-op Store in Pyle Street.
The letter says that ‘the current service is unstable’, and they have been looking for some time for a ‘more secure solution’. However the letter goes on to say they have now been ‘successful in the appointment of a new permanent agent’ which will allow them to ‘incorporate Post Office services into their Co-op store in Pyle Street’. They are now looking to hear the views of the public on the new location.
Mr Turner said : “If the Post Office had let Islanders know they were looking for alternative locations in Newport public suggestions may have given them a range of options to consider. They are now asking for the public’s view on a ‘done deal’ – a pretty worthless consultation. I have contacted the Post Office and asked them to explain what is going on. They told me that somebody ‘in the field’ had contacted a number of outlets. That is no substitute to asking the public about the whole issue. When the former Crown Post Office was transferred to Primco we were given all sorts of assurances that it protected the future of the service – it seems those promises were worthless.
“This is the main Post Office in the Island’s County Town, moving the facility into a supermarket will fundamentally change the nature of the service provided. Although there were reports about a Post Office in the former Somerfield store, I had no idea they also planned to close the main post office. Looking at the space set aside in the Co-op I can foresee problems ahead, as there is simply not enough space. The Post Office should have given their customers a chance to comment on the whole idea before appointing a ‘new permanent agent’.”