There’s been a lot of inaccurate information regarding the main Wisbech Post Office so Wisbech Town Council invited the post office representative, Gary Herbert, Eastern Region Stakeholder Manager to provide an update and respond to councillors’ many concerns.
Post offices are Government funded and are required to break-even by 2015. There are now 11,500 franchised post offices with only 373 remaining Crown post offices.
He advised that this post office is losing £100,000 annually. The post office rents the building from a property company. We can now buy our car tax discs online, pensions, stamps from local shops, the culture and nature of post offices, as we are all aware, has changed significantly in just a few years. He advised this post office was serving half the customers they were in 2007.
Wisbech retailers were invited to come forward. More than one came forward and Etcetera was selected. This shop offers more floor space than currently, they will take on all the current staff with protected salaries (under TUPE regulations), opening longer hours as well as providing good disabled facilities. Those staff who choose not to transfer, will be given priority on vacancies elsewhere or receive an enhanced redundancy package. Should Etcetera decide not to go ahead, then other retailers will be invited to come forward. Should Etcetera decide to close at some future time, they would be required to give a year’s notice.
Finally: We asked what was happening to the Post Office memorial. There is no final decision and it could go to the Parcels Office. However if residents feel there is a more fitting place for it to be installed, would you please contact us or let your councillor know as soon as possible. The Post Office have said they will treat this with sensitivity and respect. We appreciate this is not ideal but we wish to give Etcetera and the post office staff our support in this changing environment.
Virginia and Michael Bucknor
Independent Fenland District and Wisbech Town Councillors