Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Barkingside Post Office – The Move


I guess by now most people will be aware of the plan to close Barkingside Crown Post Office and open a new Franchised Post Office across the road on the Co-op site. The details in brief are:

The Co-op is closing down and the premises have been sub-leased to Quidsaver Ltd, who are currently located next door to the Post Office in the High Street. Mukesh Patel, the Managing Director of Quidsaver Ltd said he had fought a strong battle with the Co-op to prevent Poundland acquiring the site instead and is now looking forward to taking on the franchised Post Office operation and is committed to delivering an excellent service to the retail and Post Office customers.

The new franchised Post Office will be a modern open plan enterprise rather akin to the way banks and building societies now deliver their branch services. There will be six service points, one screened, four open-plan and one service point at the retail counter as well as a Financial Services area to deal with banking, savings and telephony offerings. The same range of products and services will still be available with opening times extended to Saturday afternoon. The retail counter will also be open for an extra half hour Monday to Saturday (to 6pm) and on Sunday from 10am – 4pm.

So on the up side:
  • We will still have a “main” Post Office on the High Street and it will remain roughly in the middle.
  • There are no accessibility issues as it will be at ground level, unlike WH Smith in Ilford.
  • There is a canopy so that if the queue does stretch to the outside, customers will be sheltered from the weather
  • There is pay and display parking at the rear
  • There is a proposal for some seating inside together with a small Tea and Coffee area
  • Wi-fi access for Customers is also proposed
  • More support for the Local Community.
On the down side:
  • We are losing the Co-op, a major Brand name noted for ethics and Fair Trade (wipes tear from eye).
  • There will be two vacant double fronted premises, next door to each other, where the Post Office and Quidsaver are now.
  • The “consultation” looks like a tick in the box exercise.
On the vacant premises, shops in Barkingside High Street do not seem to remain empty for long. There is a new Butchers down at the Sainsbury’s end and the toy shop is now once again a shoe shop. The Co-op pharmacy is to remain under the Co-op brand.

The deputy Leader of Redbridge Council, Wes Streeting, is concerned that the “downgrade” will lead to poorer service. Well, I’m not sure this can be called a downgrade – certainly different, and it is not WH Smiths. The only problems I can see are the redeployment of both Co-op and Post Office staff and the big question is what happens if Quidsaver Ltd closes? What is the contingency plan to to ensure continuous delivery of Post Office services? We have been assured by Mukesh Patel that the business model and cash flow projections are based on Quidsaver’s long experience and other sound economic assumptions. He said “the combination of the Retail operation and the Post Office Branch will also be good for each other”.

The CONsultation:

The 5 page A4 letter is here as a PDF running in at 153Kb
The one page A4 poster is here and for some reason is nearly 7Mb and crashes Firefox, but it does open in Chrome.

The “link” to the consultation page “postofficeviews.co.uk” redirects to another page where you have to click “consultation” which takes you to https://www.postofficeviews.co.uk/liveconsultation.php where you can enter the branch code given in the letter, 019026. But to save you all that trouble just click here.

11 comments:

  1. well that's just killed my overoptimistic "vision" of Barkingside I thought that finally we would have a great high street with all the money being spent on the area around the swimming pool I had a "vision" of sunday craft markets under the arches maybe antique days and book stalls shiny happy people sitting outside the café opposite but what a contrast that will be with pondsaver and two empty unkempt shops and the smell dfifting over from behind the shops on the other side that smells like raw sewage let alone the way that the rear of all the shops have been let to go to ruin so I think that this was all a "vision" that I can forget about.

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  2. Did someone say the Co-op had "ethics and fair trade?" - don't think so, they boycotted Israeli goods which means many of the arabs working in Israel on the farms have been made redundant - many of these organisations who jump on this bandwaggon of "boycott and divestment" think they are just sticking a finger up to Jews and Israel but, like a snake who eats its own tail, the victims are the arabs/palestinians who relied on the jobs... Now the Co-op, from the bank on down are on a slippery slope...ho-hum!

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  3. Barkingside High Street is looking just like Ilford Lane mainly catering for the Muslin community its a mess.

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    1. The fabric of our High Street?

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    2. And "Better Barkingside" is little more than tarting up the area around the swimming pool - if it's ever completed.

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  4. I am very disappointed with the news of co op closing and even more so that it will be replaced with another poundshop instead of a branded supermarket. Barkingside high street is being ruined with low quality shops.

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    1. It is not "another" poundshop. In fact it is not a "poundshop" at all. It is an existing shop by the name of Quidsaver that is moving premises. It's range and style of goods is reminiscent of Woolworths and I'll take a wager that you complained when that store went belly up.

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  5. Gone are days when shopping in Barkingside high street was a pleasure with decent shops. Not anymore and it is such a disappointment. One can only ask why the council would approve of all these worthless shops downgrading the highstreet.

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    1. The council do not "approve" the shops on the High Street. They have very little control and don't even have control over Business Rates. What you see is the result of a free market. That free market includes you, the customer. It also means that YOU are free to open a "worthwhile" shop and show everybody else how it is done.

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  6. I can't believe I've stuck around Barkingside for 35 years, enough is enough, there's just nothing here anymore. Moving to Suffolk and should have done so 10yrs ago.

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