18 Nov 2013
News By Anna Slater, Reporter Times-Series.co.uk
Plans to relocate a post office could turn it into a “dynamic and unique hub”, according to the businessman behind the proposals. East Finchley Post Office in Viceroy Parade could move 90 metres along the High Road to Universal Office Equipment next year if the plans are successful. But the proposals have been met with protest from the Communication Workers’ Union (CWO), which fear it would have a “detrimental impact” on the service the post office provides.
Elliot Jacobs, managing director of UOE, revealed his master plan for the site to assure people the relocation would be a positive step for the community. The Post Office has also launched a consultation to find out what services people think their local post office should offer. Mr Jacobs said: “I am really passionate about the high street and I really want to make it work by giving the people what they want. “It’s so important for people to respond to this consultation for that very reason.
“The Post Office is a trusted brand, so bringing it to our high street can only be a good thing as it will encourage people to shop local.“We want to reinvigorate the Post Office and halt the decline of it. I hope to turn it into a dynamic and unique hub, which everyone can benefit from.” If successful, it will be open seven days a week – and could also see a late night parcel collection service. He also plans to ensure there is disabled access and the back of the shop will be refurbished to allow spaces for a meeting room, a staff kitchen and the bureau de change.
The over the counter servers will no longer be behind a glass panel, to promote a “personal feel” to the post office. Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer is also backing the plans, and said: “The Post Office is an important part of village life, and East Finchley is a community where everyone knows each other.
“UOE is a retail facility which can adapt to change to give the community what they need. “I’m not going to get hung up on bricks and mortar – I think this is a fantastic idea.”
During the consultation process people can have their say on the proposed location as well as accessibility and community issues.
To have your say before the consultation closes on January 6, 2014, visit postofficeviews.co.uk, send a letter by FREEPOST to Post Office Ltd, email email@example.com, or call the customer helpline on 08457 22 33 44.