On Saturday, 11th February 2017, a protest was held outside Leigh-on-Sea Post Office in Rectory Grove. Customers are becoming increasingly upset and angry that their branch is to be closed, following the official announcement made on 10th January 2017.
Despite the near freezing temperature and constant snow, the protest lasted for two hours with many local people coming along to show their support, including local celebrity Phil Jupitus, the vicar of a local church, as well as members of the postal workers union, the CWU, Southend’s Trades Union Council and the local Labour Party. Five Southend Labour Councillors were present at this protest: Cheryl Nevin, Charles Willis, David Norman, Julian Ware-Lane and Helen McDonald.
|Cllr Julian Ware-Lane protests with Phil Jupitus|
Throughout the protest leaflets were handed out to passers-by and they were also invited to sign the petition sheets that were available. A total of 475 signatures were taken in two hours.
The organisers asked that as many people as possible should come back at 12:00 noon to hold a Lightning Demo for just two minutes, for a mass photograph to show our opposition to this proposed closure.
Several local residents have written to Sir David Amess MP, who represents the constituency, to ask him if he can do anything to stop the closure of the Post Office, and a meeting has been arranged for Sir David to meet with Laura Tarling of the Post Office on 2nd March 2017. However, many local people are sceptical that the current Rectory Road site could accommodate another business in addition to an already busy Post Office, and there are few other large premises in the area.
Local Councillors Bernard Arscott, Carole Mulroney and Peter Wexham have said little publicly about how they see this issue being resolved, and at present no public consultation has been announced.
Meanwhile the community campaign goes on to save this Post Office, and a Facebook Page set up on 30th January now has 543 “likes” at https://www.facebook.com/