Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has written to the Chief Executive of Post Office, Mr Nick Read, concerning the on-going closure of the Post Office in central Consett. - IMAGE: Richard Holden - From North West Durham Conservatives, CC BY-SA 4.0

Richard Holden MP slams continued closure of Consett Post Office as unacceptable and demands the Post Office provide an alternative service 

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has written to the Chief Executive of Post Office, Mr Nick Read, concerning the on-going closure of the Post Office in central Consett. 

The former Consett Post Office was closed in November 2019, despite a campaign by local people to keep it open. Following the example of replacement Post Offices across the country, its replacement was opened in the retailer PhoneHub, which sells phones and stationery. However, the store has now been closed for more than a month due to family circumstances, despite the Post Office being an essential service that people across North West Durham are reliant on. 

Richard has asked Mr Nick Read to confirm what plans are being put in place to ensure it opens as soon as possible and has stressed the importance of his constituents having access to a fully operational alternative Post Office as long as the current one remains closed. 

Commenting, Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, said:  

“It is unacceptable that my constituents in Consett have been left without access to a Post Office – a vital service particularly important for the elderly and vulnerable at a time when so many other services have not been able to open – for over a month. 

“I understand that coronavirus and staff illnesses led to the current closure and wish those affected a speedy recovery and a return to good health. I am however worried that no alternative provision has been put in place. I have written to the CEO of the Post Office to ask what the plans are for re-opening the Post Office and ensuring that my constituents have access to the services that they need.  

“If re-opening imminently isn’t possible then the Post Office should make an alternative mobile Post Office available until the town centre service can resume.” 

 


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5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi I live in consett central
    I have just read your article about consett post office
    And I totally agree with what your saying something needs to be done
    I now have nowhere to put my gas on as I have a pre payment meter I don’t drive and I have autistic son
    So worrying about running out of gas is stressful
    I also have a boyfriend in prison abroad that I now carnt write to or send anything that he relies on
    It’s one big stress that I really don’t need thanks amy

  2. The council, government or whoever is currently responsible for public services should definitely open a temporary post office as it is an essential public service. There is the phone hub premises fully kitted or the old post office probably wouldn’t take much to make it functional. Whatever. The council, government & powers that be need to sort this as a priority. Consett needs & deserves a post-office. The retired workers could b asked to come back. It had a medium size staff, some would bound to b willing in this crisis. It needs sorted.

  3. It’s disgusting the UK government allowed this to happen to a national service.

    In November 2010, the government committed £1.34 billion of funding up to 2015 to Post Office Ltd to enable it to modernise the Post Office network.[6]

    As part of the Postal Services Act 2011, Post Office Ltd became independent of Royal Mail Group on 1 April 2012.[7] A ten-year inter-business agreement was signed between the two companies to allow post offices to continue issuing stamps and handling letters and parcels for Royal Mail.[8] The Act also contained the option for Post Office Ltd to become a mutual organisation in the future.[9]

    On 8 February 2013, Post Office Ltd announced it was planning to move around seventy of its Crown post offices into shops. This would reduce the Crown network, which it stated was losing £40 million a year, to around 300.[10]

    On 27 November 2013, the government committed an additional £640 million of funding for 2015 to 2018 to allow Post Office Ltd to complete its network modernisation.[11]

    In April 2016, the Post Office agreed to hand over up to 61 more branches to W H Smith in a 10-year deal. The deal was condemned as “blatant back-door privatisation” by the Communications Workers Union.[12]

  4. I’m an ex employee of Consett Post Office and agree that there needs to be something put into place to provide a service to the people of consett after having worked 26 year for the Post Office and provided a high standard service it upsets me that people have been left high and dry !! Provide me with a post office and I will solve the problem . Lesley

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