Fears For Post Office Under Franchise Plan

Barnet Times:

Burnt Oak crown post office will become the fifth branch in the borough to be franchised and run by a private company, it was revealed last week.

The number of counters will be cut from nine to five as KP Retail takes over responsibility for all aspects of the running of the branch, in Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware.

A spokeswoman for the Post Office said: “Under the franchising partnership, there will be significant investment in customer facilities at the branch. Customers will immediately benefit from earlier opening on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings, and extended opening hours on Saturdays.”

A card and stationary shop and a full refurbishment of the branch has also been promised. Crown post offices in Brent Street, Hendon; The Broadway, Mill Hill; and Station Road, Edgware, have already been franchised, while the branch in Finchley Road, Golders Green, was earmarked to be franchised last week.

Burnt Oak councillor Claire Farrier said: “It is a small building, so I don’t know how they are going to fit in the counters and a shop. The post office staff are trained specifically, they know what they are doing and they provide a good service. The main concern is service to the public and I am never sure about a franchised service.”

Tony Marsh, network service manager for Post Office Ltd, said: “The investment planned for Watling Burnt Oak Post Office branch is good news for customers and provides security for the future of Post Office provision in the area.”

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