I write regarding the main Post Office in Scarborough that is currently under review for potential closure and relocation into a branch of WHSmith.
Firstly, my thanks to The Scarborough News for bringing this proposal to my attention in a related article.
Without this I, and I suspect virtually everyone living in Scarborough, would have been ignorant to this fact. I am not aware of the Post Office making any concerted effort to make this public knowledge.
Now that the genie is out of the bottle I hope, but doubt that, the many people who would be interested to know and indeed who support and use the Post Office are aware of this. Hence this letter.
I feel the loss of the Post Office in its present location and purpose-built setting, will be a very sad loss. I can also say that having lived in West London before relocating here to Scarborough and witnessed the loss of three main Post Offices in three very busy and vibrant towns into other establishments, their loss is more than retrograde, it is soul destroying.
To start, the buildings are transformed into commercial uses that never manage to rival the grandeur of the distinctly recognisable façade of the town Post Office.
Then the service provided in a new location never matches that of the original. A Post Office and a pub have for centuries been the hub of the community, up and down the country.
Whilst Scarborough has many pubs and hopefully this will continue, it only has one Crown Post Office and to remove it purely to support a different commercial enterprise can only be seen as a wilful act of vandalism.
I contacted Robert Goodwill MP to express my concerns about the possible loss of the Post Office and was, to say the least, astonished by his reply.
He said that he is pleased the Post Office is moving into the WHSmith premises and that whilst many businesses from the shopping area of Scarborough have been lost, WHSmith could well prevent a further loss by the moving of the Post Office into WHSmith.
Two points emerge from this: Firstly, it is indefensible that Mr Goodwill supports the propping up of a commercial outlet at the expense of a public service.
Secondly, Mr Goodwill’s statement is questionable “that is why I am pleased the Post Office are moving in there and will provide excellent facilities and also have longer opening hours, including Sunday”.
This suggests to me that Mr Goodwill appears to be privy to information that implies this whole matter has progressed much further than is currently being purported.
Though the people of Scarborough are being invited on December 20 to an open meeting at the library in Vernon Road the question has to be asked, is this just a hollow exercise to make it appear that there is a genuine wish to consult?