Post Office saved - Stroud style!

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Feb 13 01:16:16 GMT 2014

Final reprieve for community PO in Stroud

Life  |  Posted: February 10, 2014
Stroud Town Council supported Uplands Post Office 
long term future confirmed - Cllr John Marjoram, 
John Luff, Barry Harrison, Post master Robin Craig, Julie Jones, Sue Harrison -
A threatened community post office saved by 
Stroud Town Council has won its final reprieve.
For the past five years Stroud Town Council has 
been providing financial support to Uplands Post 
Office by paying for its technical services from Post Office Counters Ltd.
Now, following discussions with the town council, 
Post Office Counters has waived the annual charges.
For Postmaster Robin Craig it marks the end of a 
long battle. He will no longer need the financial 
support of the town council and be able to focus on his business.
“This decision has taken a lot of pressure off 
me. It was like the sword of Damocles hanging 
over me,” said Mr Craig. “The town council has 
been fantastic. It is only because they were resolute that this has happened.”
In 2008 Stroud became the first town or parish 
council in Britain to step in and save a Post 
Office axed under the Government’s controversial Network Change programme.
There was a 10-month battle to save Uplands. 
Grandmother Mary Davies, from Stroud, challenged 
the closure in the High Court on the grounds that 
the Post Office had not considered the impact of closure on disabled access.
It was Mrs Davies’ claim which helped the town 
council negotiate the ground-breaking funding 
deal with post office managers which saved the branch.
Over the five years the town council has provided 
grant funding for Uplands Post Office.
Deputy Mayor John Marjoram, who with former town 
councillor, Andy Read, led the town council fight 
to save Uplands, says that investment has saved 
the post office which now can stand on its own without financial support.
“It was the determination of our green-ledcouncil 
to save Uplands and in the end only two post 
offices out of 2500 across the country were 
saved. One of them was ours,” he said.
“We felt that this post office is important to 
the community. It is away from the town centre 
and residents were reliant on this service. Now 
it no longer needs the council’s financial 
support and we hope it will be a successful business.”
"When six years ago the local community was 
fighting to save this historic little Post 
Office, I was told in no uncertain terms that we 
were wasting our time,” said Andy Read.
“Once again, this is a great example of how, if 
you are determined to protect local services you 
really can win against all the odds.”
One woman who turned out to celebrate the news 
was Julie Jones. It was her 79-year-old 
grandmother, Mary Davies, who took legal action against the closure.
“We need this Post Office because we have nothing 
else around here. Nan will be pleased that we 
have now finally won – for good,” said Julie.

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