Post Office saved - Stroud style!
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
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 Governments 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 councils 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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