Middleton Post Office. (Image from Google Maps)
Middleton Post Office. (Image from Google Maps)

The Post Office are proposing to close Middleton Post Office on Manchester New Road next year and franchise it to the WH Smith. While I’m told this won’t affect the attached Royal Mail delivery office, and is better than losing the post office branch altogether, this most likely means a reduction in services, accessibility, and jobs.

Over the past five years the Post Office – which is entirely owned by the Government – has announced the closure of 150 flagship Crown Post Offices. This announcement of a further 74 Crown offices to be closed and franchised, including in Middleton, means the Crown network will have been cut by 60% since 2013.

Closing flagship branches, getting rid of experienced staff and putting counters in the back of a WH Smith is not the plan for growth or innovation that the Post Office network so desperately needs, and it is not the level of service that the public should expect. At best these relentless closures point to a lack of vision, and at worst it suggests a managed decline of a public asset.

Also of concern is the uncertainty about the future of WH Smith, who have recently announced closures of some of their high street stores across the country. It makes little sense and is a huge risk to relocate vital Post Office services into a business which is closing stores and which might lose more.

The Post Office tell me that a six-week public consultation will take place at some point before the closure is confirmed. It would be an important statement if we could present them with a petition before the consultation even begins.

Let’s make it clear to the Post Office that Middleton will not stand by while our main Post Office is closed and moved into the back of a shop – sign and share the petition below now!


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