THE fight is finally over. Campaigners battling to stop Littlehampton’s last remaining Crown post office from relocating have failed, the Gazette can reveal.
For months, thousands of people had rallied behind an effort to keep the post office, in The Arcade, from moving elsewhere in the town.
But all those hours of hard work have fallen of deaf ears as the Post Office Ltd hammered the final nail in the coffin of the Arcade office on Tuesday, announcing it would be moving to a new base in High Street, in March.
Labour councillor Mike Northeast, who has been part of the Save the Post Office campaign, said: “We have had some major body blows to Littlehampton. First it was the hospital, then the Windmill and cinema and now the post office.
“We have had some very major attacks on the very social fabric of Littlehampton and I fear for the future of not just The Arcade but that entire end of the town because of this.”
The move was the result of a six-week consultation period conducted by Post Office Ltd.
The post office will now be part of a franchise plan. It will be based at 66 High Street – which is currently Stead & Simpson shoe shop – and will share the premises with Yogi Eyecare Ltd.
Post Office Ltd argue this franchising would, in the long term, be the best way forward.
The new set-up would offer extended opening hours – eight and a half more than currently available.
Roger Gale, Crown network general manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a post office branch in Littlehampton and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers.
“We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate the branch, so following the move it will be run by Yogi Eyecare Ltd rather than by us directly.”
The current post office will close at 12.30pm on March 22, before reopening at its new location at 9am, on March 24.
It will be open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
For the full story, see this week’s Gazette (Thursday, January 9).