Wisbech Post Office could be moving to a new location in the near future after it was announced the Post Office are looking for a retail partner for the branch.
The Bridge Street site is one of 70 Crown branches that the Post Office wants to bring back into profit by moving the services into an existing business. There are 370 Crown branches which are directly owned by the Post Office but nationally, they are operating at a £40 million annual loss.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We are currently undertaking the biggest business transformation programme in the history of the Post Office. Our investment will maintain the size of the network and modernise branches to meet customer needs.
“Crown branches are a fundamental part of our long term growth strategy and need to be brought into profit. To maintain our high street presence we will be looking to find retail partners for 70 of our branches enabling us to stay in these locations.
“The Post Office successfully works with many retail partners. We already have over 3,000 branches across the UK where customers are accessing services in this way. If no retail partner is found we are still committed to having a Crown Post Office within the area. There are no compulsory redundancies planned as part of this strategy.”
It is understood public consultation will be held at all affected branches.
But the announcement was not received well by the union. Communication Workers Union general secretary Billy Hayes called the move a “partial destruction of the Crown network” and raised concerns about access to services and survival of the post office network.
He said: “The announcement to franchise 70 Crown Post Offices - affecting over 700 Post Office staff - is a huge blow to the network. Staff will be in shock at the scale of what will effectively be closures of Crown post offices across the country.
“This move will have a huge impact on the high streets of small towns earmarked to lose their Crown Post Office. These offices provide a dedicated specialist service to communities which will not be replicated by a window or two in a bigger shop.
“We’ve seen problems with access to post office services in previous franchise arrangements and fear this announcement could create further barriers to accessing a range of post office services.
“We’re strongly urging the Post Office to re-think these proposals and consider the future of the network, the communities it serves and the services it provides.”