Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Poll: Do you want Margate's Crown Post Office to close or stay open?

Last night's public meeting regarding the proposed closure of Margate's Crown Post Office in Cecil Square heard residents and councillors and union reps raise many concerns. From the loss of a valuable community resource and accessibility issues to the concern that moving the Post Office service to within an existing business that this would imply some kind of loss of service provision.

Representatives from the Post Office (the company that is) were keen to communicate that there would be no loss of services and that we would be best proceeding to consultation. They weren't able to provide any information on why the Margate Post Office had been chosen for proposed closure or where it might be considered to move it. The union reps then explained that the consultation would not ask the public their views on whether to keep the Crown Post Office or not. It would be merely to discuss service provision. Once it gets to consultation, it would be too late and closure would be decided. This was then confirmed by the Post Office company representative.

The meeting was chaired by Councillor Iris Johnston with councillors from all parties present. Interestingly, a representative from Margate Town Team stated that the Town Team had met with the Post Office and Thanet District Council's Chief Exec, Sue McGonigal earlier in the year with a view to procuring a suitable retail partner. The Town Team representative stated they felt the issue was now a 'done deal' and the best option was to work on the most viable option.

There were very many questions raised about how a post office service that currently has 6 positions and 4 open at a time could be transferred to operating within a shop would be possible.

The point that the current building owner is happy for the post office to remain as a tenant.

Would it not be possible for extra businesses to move to the post office site rather than close the post office and relocate to a shop such as WH Smiths?

I've started a poll over on the top right to run for a week. Do you want Margate's Crown Post Office to close and move or stay open in the current location?


  1. Accurate coverage of the evening thank you.
    The post offices most vulnerable customers dont have access to a pc and they should be included in the debate. Thanet gazette should run one or indeed the post office themselves. Instead of asking would you like to apply for a credit card they could ask would you like us to stay. Not so profitable I know but more being at the heart of the community. Less lip service, enormous respect. Our Crown office staff are Excellent.

  2. Agree, Robin. Great idea for Thanet Gazette to get out to people and get their opinions.

  3. I won't vote on this, as my answer is "It depends where it's moved to". The main post office in Herne Bay moved to the Co-Op which is more central to all the main shops, and the post office in Canterbury moved to WH Smith's which seems to work just as well as before. My two main concerns would be (a) Which Margate store is large enough? I'm not sure that WH Smith's is, perhaps Boots? And (b) , what exactly would happen to the current post office building? I've heard talk of Costa Coffee (fine by me though I don't personally drink any sort of coffee), but is that it?

  4. Interesting you say that, Peter. The Post Office rep said they won't discuss where the post office may move to. That consultation if it happens will be about service provision.

  5. OK Louise you've convinced me, I've voted "No"! ; )

    Incidentally, despite being in my 50s I'm not one of those to hark on about "the good old days" as almost everything is better NOW. One big exception though is the postal service. I miss the days when we had 2 deliveries per day (with the 2nd one being no later than 11am) and sunday collections.