WIDESPREAD support has been given to keeping Bognor Regis Post Office open.
A petition to save the post office from being privatised was handed over to the town’s MP with some 3,500 names gathered in five weeks.
The petition is being sent by Nick Gibb to the chief executive of Post Office Ltd, Paula Vennells.
She wants to close the current High Street site and move its services to another premises in the town centre.
Mr Gibb said: “The Bognor Regis Crown Post Office is an important landmark on the High Street. It has a huge throughput of customers as anyone who’s queued there knows to their cost.
“Today’s petition shows the strength of feeling locally about Post Office Limited’s proposal. The Crown post office is a well-used and needed local service. It’s needed by local people, by local businesses and it’s needed by tourists.”
He said the Post Office should be seeking to improve its ‘premium brand’ of Crown sites.
“What the Post Office should be doing is finding new business to boost the income of the Crown post office network, not closing the network,” he said.
The petition was started by town centre business owner and Lib Dem councillor Paul Wells.
“A significant number of people have shown their views about the closure plans for the post office by signing this petition in a relatively short space of time,” he said.
“They are disappointed Post Office Ltd wants to close the present site and this petition is their way of showing that.
“Hopefully, Post Office Ltd will take that into account when they go through the consultation process about this matter.
“No-one wants to lose such a valuable facility in the town centre. We counted 100 people going into it in 45 minutes on a recent Wednesday lunchtime.
“That has to be one of the quietest times for the post office and you multiply that figure for the daily and then weekly number of customers and it’s a lot of people. I can’t see how any town centre shop would be able to cram them into a limited space.”
Nick Stuart-Nicolson, Bognor Regis and District Chamber of Commerce’s president and chairman, said: “It’s ridiculous to even think of moving the post office. It must not happen. There’s too much volume of business there.
“Businesses in the town are going to find it difficult to spend time going anywhere else and then queuing.”
A Post Office Ltd spokeswoman said on Monday: “We can confirm that there has been interest following the Post Office advertising for a potential suitable franchise partner.
“We are now assessing and there will be detailed work which can take some time. There will be a six-week public consultation when we have definite and detailed plans.”
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