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Residents quiz Post Office representative over Dagenham branch privatisation

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 July 2013

Residents confront a representative of the Post Office

Residents confront a representative of the Post Office

Archant

A Post Office representative was put on the spot by residents over the proposed privatisation of the Dagenham Heathway branch.

Under current plans, the branch will be sold to a private retail partner which will run a smaller Post Office within it.

A meeting was held at the village hall in Vicarage Road, Dagenham, by MP Jon Cruddas, local councillors, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and a representative from the Post Office, giving the public the chance to express their concerns.

Many raised doubts that a small Post Office within a retail store would be able to cope with the level of service currently delivered.

Ian Wall, from the CWU, said that numerous studies have shown that franchised Post Offices perform badly in respect of queue times, quality of service and accessibility.

Mr Cruddas commented: “The Dagenham Heathway Crown Post Office is vital to so many people. When I walk past I regularly see people queuing around the block and I know that the staff are doing an amazing job, making the Post Office a real anchor in the local community.

“What I don’t want to see is a race to the bottom for staff terms and conditions, diminished services for the public and yet another disappointment for the Heathway shopping district. Further public consultation has been promised by the Post Office and I will do all I can to hold them to this.”

CWU members working at the branch have taken part in numerous strikes since the beginning of the year to protest the changes, with staff fearing that franchising the branch could mean pay cuts and job losses.


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