Mail office fight goes to London

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COUNCILLORS fighting against the closure of Holbeach’s delivery office say they were “disturbed” to find Royal Mail had not researched the town.

Holbeach Parish Council chairman Coun Rita Rudkin said a representative for the firm admitted he did not know Holbeach in a private meeting with councillors and South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes last week.

Giving feedback at Holbeach Parish Council’s meeting on Monday, she said an “impressive group” turned out to discuss the closure.

Coun Rudkin said: “The meeting was quite positive and the impression I got was the gentleman from Royal Mail was a little surprised at our strength, vehemence and fortitude.

“The main concern was that they did not produce a viable business plan. I was disturbed by the fact they had not researched Holbeach at all. He admitted he did not know it at all.”

In July, Royal Mail put up a for sale board outside the Barrington Gate office and said its business would be transferred to Spalding under “modernisation” plans.

The move, which would affect about 30 members of staff, has been strongly opposed by local residents and the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

Coun Rudkin said Royal Mail were told a proposal for Holbeach Post Office to take parcels was “inadequate” because of its location.

She also said they made it clear how angry residents had been when they saw the for sale sign.

She explained: “We told them residents really resented that the for sale notice went up before any consultation was contemplated. When we, as councillors, were asked why that was happening we looked like idiots by saying we did not know.

“What came out was that they do not consider themselves a public service because they are no longer in receipt of Government funding. What they are doing is survival because emails and other modern methods of communication have cut their business by 25 per cent.”

Mr Hayes will now meet with representatives from Royal Mail in London to discuss the issue further.

Coun Rudkin added: “I think we made it quite clear it’s not cut and dry so watch this space.”