The MP is committed to fighting the proposed break-up of the city’s Crown Post Office that was announced last month and would see the closure of Lendal Post Office and the movement of services to a franchise within WHSmith on Coney Street.
The Post Office provides vital services for the community and Ms Maskell has been very critical of the decision by The Post Office to develop detailed franchising plans before first consulting with local residents and businesses. She is also very concerned about what these plans will mean for the future of staff at the branch, and the impact more generally on jobs and businesses in the city centre. £2.4bn of public money will be used to prop up this process.
Since the announcement was made Rachael Maskell has met with the Post Office and CWU to discuss the plans. Rachael has also raised concerns in Parliament during a number of key debates, where she secured the commitment of Kelly Tolhurst, Junior Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to look specifically at the situation in York.
The Post Office announced a six-week consultation last week, which will run right into Christmas, 28 December 2018, the Post Office’s most busy season. During this time, Ms Maskell also plans to meet with staff, local businesses and local residents to discuss the situation and to make sure these views are properly taken into account.
Ms Maskell is urging residents to make their views known by signing the petition that she will present in Parliament & also writing a special Christmas postcard to the Post Office. Ms Maskell is also urging constituents to take part in the official consultation. To submit a consultation response you can go online and search through the open consultations on www.PostOfficeViews.co.uk or you can click on the shortened link at : https://bit.ly/2FlyPxB . Further to this, we can help submit a consultation response on your behalf, please contact Rachael Maskell MP to arrange this.
Rachael Maskell MP, said:
“Like everyone, I was horrified by last month’s announcement by the Post Office to break-up York’s Crown Post Office. Since then ’ve met with the Post Office to express my serious concern at the proposals and to make clear my commitment to do whatever I can to protect staff, residents and businesses of York. I’ve also spoken in Parliament, questioning this highly ill-thought through franchising project and the way it is being carried out, ignoring the needs of residents and businesses. Following this, the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has agreed to look specifically at the situation in York and I will be following this up with her over the coming weeks.
“I am extremely disturbed that the Post Office failed to consult staff, residents or local businesses before presenting these franchising plans to the city as fait accompli. I am also concerned that the consultation is being cynically timed to coincide with the extremely busy Christmas period when staff and customers in York are already overstretched. That said we now have a very narrow opportunity to make our views heard and it is critical that we make the most of this.
“Lendal Post Office has been serving residents, businesses and visitors for the last 130 years. Not only does it draw people into the city centre, it is a living reminder of York’s proud heritage and our connection with the world. At a time when Coney Street is struggling with footfall down 15% over 2-years, it is vital that we make it absolutely clear that we will not stand for the loss of another important part of our high street.
“This situation is particularly distressing for the highly professional staff who must go through this difficult consultation during the very busy festive period before facing a very uncertain New Year. My priority is to work closely with the CWU to do everything we can to provide staff with support they need and to make sure their voices and concerns are heard.
“In this WW1 Centenary year it is extremely distressing to learn that this move would also mean the removal and relocation of the war memorial in Lendal. This is completely unacceptable and the people of York must come together to stop this happening”.
“Labour will renationalise The Post Office together with Royal Mail, making sure that the whole postal service works together in the interests of customers, not shareholders. In the meantime we must do everything possible to ensure these valuable spaces are kept in public ownership and are not flogged off for a one-off, capital receipt and shareholder profit”.