Blow for sorting office campaign

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SHOCKED staff at Holbeach Sorting Office have been told the building is “under offer”, despite an ongoing campaign to keep the service in the town.

Workers at the Barrington Gate office found out about the potential sale last week, just weeks after MP John Hayes and local councillors met with Royal Mail officials to reiterate public feeling about its closure.

Hundreds of signatures have been collected in a petition, while postcards calling for Royal Mail to reverse the decision are still being returned.

Andy Beeby, Communication Workers Union (CWU) branch chairman, said: “This came as a massive shock. The manager distributed out a piece of paper saying it was under offer.

“I’m taking it up with John Hayes now to let him know.

“The staff are still determined to fight.

“They have always said they live in Holbeach, they work in Holbeach, are part of the community and do their shopping in Holbeach.

“That’s where they want to stay. They want to carry on giving the service that they always have done.”

Mr Beeby said he will be writing to Royal Mail’s chief executive to arrange a date to hand over the petition and postcards.

District councillor and Holbeach Parish Council chairman Rita Rudkin, who was among those to meet Royal Mail representatives earlier this month, said it had also come as a surprise to her. “It was a surprise this had happened.

“I thought things were on hold until January when John Hayes was due to meet Royal Mail in London,” she said.

Royal Mail says it is in the “early stages” of transferring its business to Spalding in the summer.

The statement continued: “The move is purely for business and operational reasons and is part of Royal Mail’s business-wide investment and modernisation programme.

“We believe that relocating to nearby Spalding will provide improved working conditions and new equipment and a more cost effective operation.”

The firm attempted to close the office in 2007 but bowed under public pressure.