OpinioN8

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Crouch End Universal Post Office Equipment Takeover

Or should I say modernisation. A Crouch End Post Office consultation from now until September (specially extended to allow for holidays). And all the details in one useful pdf below.

In essence Universal Office Equipment (UK) Ltd will be running a very much modernised branch, probably mainly as a shop, with Post Office facilities.df attached below

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And here's the announcement on UOE's website. Note the proposal to open 7 days a week.

The story reaches the Ham and High.

You'll note the sentence "A Post Office spokeswoman confirmed the consultation’s focus would not be on whether or not to transfer the office to a private company". So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Office supplies company UOE reveals plans for Crouch End Post Office

Universal Office Equipment (UOE) announced its intention to take over Crouch End Post Office, subject to a public consultation, yesterday.

Under the plan the Topsfield Road branch – where activists gathered last year protesting against a Post Office decision to turn the branch into a franchise – remains in its current location with the premises becoming open plan.

UOE, which currently operates Post Offices in East Finchley, Potters Bar and Hertford, have said existing staff at the Crouch End branch will be given the option of transferring to the company.

The firm has said the refurbished site will include stationery, gift and business services as well as retaining all Post Office functions.

The office will have five serving positions and its opening hours would be 8.30am to 6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 9am to 6pm on Wednesdays; 9am to 5.30pm on Saturdays and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays.

UOE Managing Director and Postmaster Elliot Jacobs said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Crouch End to our growing portfolio of retail stores and Post Offices.

“We look forward to working with Post Office to deliver the service and experience customers want.”

Post Office sales and trade marketing director Roger Gale said the proposal would help secure the long-term viability of services.

“We are making sure we take the right action to sustain services,” he said.

“We have to adapt so we can maintain our presence on high streets and in the heart of communities, which we are determined to do,” Mr Gale added.

A Post Office spokeswoman confirmed the consultation’s focus would not be on whether or not to transfer the office to a private company and indicated details of a customer drop in session would be published in due course.

The six week public consultation ends on September 6.

The public cam share views at postofficeviews, by email at comments@postoffice.co.uk, call 03457 223344 or write to FREEPOST, Your Comments.The info also posted on the website www.crouchendforum.org.uk/highgate-library-considers-the-future/ if you want to comment in public.

The post office story also makes the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum web... which has a link to the youtube campaign 

A campaign which , what it lacked in merit, made up for in pious claptrap. Post Offices have always been hopelessly inefficient. By providing a very wide range of services it is inevitable that their counter procedures will be clunky and repetitive. Perhaps a private operator will insist on streamlining these. Opening for longer hours including Sundays will surely add to viability. Will the changes really deny helpless old people and the disabled access to vital services?

The problem I find myself struggling with personally, is where does my objectivity break down. While I'm happy to see the PO modernised I want local services like MEB to continue, and stylish buildings like Kwik Fit preserved. I think there is a difference which allows me to claim objectivity, and that I've not fallen a victim to being sentimentally attached to MEB while being emotionally averse to long queues and superfluous paperwork.

The new owners propose to take on the old staff, and presumably retrain them, probably a good thing.

In a comment on the disappearing public realm the CENF page asks:

Any offers for a central Crouch End landmark timepiece-related building (one previous owner), good investment opportunity, some improvements necessary, may suit buyer with slight hearing impairment?

Perhaps:

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