Campaigners pay tribute to Lewes post office

Post Office campaigners outside Lewes crown office

Post Office campaigners outside Lewes crown office

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Campaigners who opposed the closure of the Lewes Crown Post Office paid tribute to the branch’s staff  as it closed its doors for a final time this week.

Members of the campaign group delivered thank you cards to staff and met outside the branch ahead of its closure on Wednesday (October 19).

Speaking this week Philippa Thompson of the campaign group Stop the Closure of Lewes Post Office mourned the closure but said there are still many questions left to answer as the town’s counter services move to WHSmith.

She said: “It’s a very sad day for Lewes. Despite everything - flash mobs, public meetings, lots of media coverage, a deluge of postcards landing on desks at Post Office headquarters and a petition from nearly 5000 local people - the decision to close has gone ahead.

“We know that it was made well in advance of the so-called consultation period, when it was made clear that the deal with WHSmith was part of a ten year plan. The rest was lip service.

“We were promised that the Post Office would listen to alternative ideas, but there has been no evidence of that. We still haven’t seen a disability access assessment for the new site, and the Post Office says that it doesn’t have to do that because it’s not a public building. We don’t think that’s enough.

“Lewes is losing a great local amenity in a historic building, which will no doubt now be sold off for luxury flats.

“I’d like to thank all the local people who got behind this campaign, organised events and gathered signatures for the petition. They are the real spirit of Lewes and they will be as disappointed as we are today.”

Responding to Ms Thompson’s comments, a spokesman for the Post Office said: “We considered all the feedback and concerns raised during the consultation very carefully before making our final decision.

“Our decision is to safeguard Post Office services in Lewes into the future - it’s vital that we ensure our branches are sustainable.

“We have been working with WHSmith to make sure that the new branch is accessible for all our customers, including elderly people and those with disabilities or mobility difficulties. Refitting works have been carried out.”

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