Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Residents urged to support town centre post office appeal by attending Council meeting

Posted on Monday 22nd October 2012 at 6:50 am by SH (Editor)

Post office at Bradley Pavillions, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Residents of Bradley Stoke who would like to see a post office open at the Willow Brook Centre are being urged to show their support at a Council meeting this week.

The Post Office’s South West Senior Stakeholder Manager, Laura Tarling, is due to address a meeting of the Town Council’s Planning Committee at the Jubilee Centre on Wednesday evening (24th October), starting at 7:30pm.

A public consultation carried out by the Council in 2011 demonstrated strong demand for a larger post office in the town, with a clear majority asking for this to be provided at the Willow Brook Centre.

Many respondents were critical of the limited facilities and long queuing times at the town’s only current post office within the Tesco Express store on Pear Tree Road.

Managers at Post Office Ltd have so far rejected calls for a larger post office in Bradley Stoke, saying they believe the present facility is adequate and claiming that an additional branch at the Willow Brook Centre would harm the viability of post offices in neighbouring areas.

Tesco has said it doesn’t wish to close the Pear Tree Road post office because it is “incredibly popular”. It says it would have no objection to the Post Office opening an additional branch at the Willow Brook Centre but claims there is no space to accommodate it within the Tesco Extra store there.

Ms Tarling agreed to address this week’s meeting after Councillors attending the Planning Committee meeting in July expressed disappointment at the latest negative response from the Post Office.

In an open letter to The Journal, Committee member Cllr Tom Aditya urges residents to attend Wednesday’s meeting in order to demonstrate the high level of community support for a larger post office.

Cllr Aditya writes:

“Commercial businesses, such as the Post Office, should respect the wishes of the community and work with the community. This is a community issue and the town needs the support of all its residents. Let us come together and make our appeal for a fully-fledged post office more meaningful.”

Open letter to The Journal from Cllr Tom Aditya

Historically, our town during its infancy had two sub-post offices, one near Baileys Court Pub in Bradley Stoke South and another at Pear Tree Road in Bradley Stoke North. At that time, Bradley Stoke town centre hadn’t been developed in a fully-fledged manner. During the course of our town’s development, Tesco took over the convenience store near Baileys Court Pub and eventually we lost the post office there. Since then we have been constrained to just one sub-post office, in Bradley Stoke North.

In view of the fact that Bradley Stoke doesn’t have a fully-fledged post office, residents have been compelled to commute to other post offices for fulfilment of their various post office requirements. This troubles our people a lot, especially the elderly and the numerous citizens who depend upon public transport

This is the reason why we started the campaign for a fully-fledged post office in Bradley Stoke. As all of you know, Bradley Stoke is a modern town with quite a substantial population. The latest estimate reveals that there are more than 27,000 residents in Bradley Stoke.

Last year, under the auspices of the Town Council, we undertook a public consultation/survey regarding the post office issue and we received overwhelming support from the residents and survey participants. The consultation put forward the proposal for a fully-fledged post office at the Willow Brook Centre, as that would be much more convenient for all the residents of Bradley Stoke and its neighbouring areas. A Post office with passport and identity checking, biometric enrolment facility, licences, vehicle tax and counter money services would bring additional customers to the post office. As more people made use of these services, the viability, sustainability and profitability of such a post office would also increase. In the light of this, we approached the Post Office last year with our requests, but regrettably they rejected our suggestions.

We asked for a review of that decision, but that has also been refused. Even though Post Office officials acknowledged that such a post office would be commercially viable, they declined to take our suggestions forward as they were giving higher priority to the commercial and business interests of post offices in neighbouring areas rather than the community interests of Bradley Stoke.

Nevertheless, we can see that many nearby towns, some with a population lower than Bradley Stoke, benefit from better post office facilities. For example., Keynsham, which has a slightly lower population than Bradley Stoke, has got a Crown Post office on its High Street (BS31 1DY) and one sub-post office (39 Chandag Road BS31 1PW). Similarly, Portishead has this year been given permission to open its second post office.

Unfortunately, our town has not yet been given its true importance by the authorities. Despite the fact that everyone agrees that a fully-fledged post office is a necessity in Bradley Stoke, our lack of community spirit means that we are not still even getting our legitimate amenities.

The Post Office’s South West Senior Stakeholder Manager Ms Laura Tarling is coming to Bradley Stoke to explain in person the organisation’s view as to why our application was rejected and to explain why we have to utilise the nearby post offices. Ms Tarling will attend the Town Council’s Planning Committee meeting at 7:30pm on Wednesday t24th of October 2012 at the Jubilee Centre. There will be an opportunity for residents to air their views pertaining to this issue at the start of the meeting. Critically, this is is likely to be our last opportunity to demonstrate to the Post Office how much our town needs a fully-fledged post office.

As this issue directly or indirectly affects all the residents of this town in some shape or form, now or in the future, a unified demand and support for such a post office would help our town in its campaign. On behalf of the Community, it would be good if you can turn up and showcase your support this Wednesday evening.

Commercial businesses, such as the Post Office, should respect the wishes of the community and work with the community. This is a community issue and the town needs the support of all its residents. Let us come together and make our appeal for a fully-fledged post office more meaningful.

Cllr Tom Aditya

Post office campaigner Tom Aditya.

Post office campaigner Tom Aditya pictured in front of the Tesco Express store at Bradley Pavillions prior to his election as a Town Councillor.

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Tags: Bradley Stoke Town Council, consultation, post office, Tesco

12 Responses to “Residents urged to support town centre post office appeal by attending Council meeting”

  1. Tom Aditya Says:

    Thanks to all residents for the support and co-operation.

    Let me please inform that the Bradley Stoke Tesco Extra Store Manager Mr Peter Ballam greeted the idea of a full fledged post office there with great interest and said his store has the flexibility to incorporate the space for a post office if the Head Office is happy to go ahead. He also added that he shall morally support if anyone interested comes forward to do such a post office at the Town Centre.

    I wholeheartedly support Pete’s positive thinking and welcomes community spirited personalities.

    Hope to see you all on Wednesday evening 7.30 pm at the Jubilee Centre.

  2. Jenny Says:

    I feel this is a very selfish move.

    Much as it would be convenient to have a post office right where we go and do our main shop, the opening of such a place in Willow Brook would definitely be to the detriment of other nearby Post Offices, such as Little Stoke, that have been serving the area for many years, through thick and thin.

    Ok, they may be just outside the “Bradley Stoke umbrella”, but they will be threatened if this scheme goes ahead.

    This will, inevitably, be just another nail in the coffin for an independent shop, whilst Tesco gains a further monopoly on another local commodity.

  3. Tom Aditya Says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for putting forward your views, but regrettably you misinterpreted it.

    As far as I knew, Tesco has no special interest in this post office.

    A full fledged post office at the Town Centre was clear opinion of the Bradley Stoke Community.

    I have nothing against Little Stoke or any other nearby post offices, but my present duty is to work for the interests of the Bradley Stoke Community.

    If community minded persons with the capacity and passion to run a full fledged post office comes forward, I will support such an independent shop in Bradley Stoke, no doubt about it.

    Let me again repeat, this is a community issue and the town needs the support of all its residents. Since the post office directly or indirectly affects all the residents of this town in some shape or form, now or in the future, a unified demand and support for a full fledged post office would help our town in its campaign. On behalf of the Community, it would be good if you can turn up and showcase your support this Wednesday evening.

    Let us come together and make our appeal for a full-fledged post office more meaningful.

  4. Jenny Says:

    Hello Tom,

    My apologies, as I did misread it and thought it would be within the Tesco store itself.

    I still stand by my other comments though.

    Jenny

  5. chris Says:

    I can’t see the need for another Post Office in BS, there are 4 in the area already (BS North, Simmonds View, Stoke Gifford & Little Stoke) Also Winterbourne , all of which are convenient, plus Patchway and Filton. Thats 7 PO’s in what a 5 or 6 mile radius? Many communities would be overjoyed to have so many!

  6. flurfy chicken Says:

    Convenient if you can get to them Chris, but what if you don’t drive, find it hard to walk over a mile and can’t afford the £3 something bus fare?
    At least a Post Office in the Willow Brook Centre would be central to most people who live in Bradley Stoke, and people would not have to make a special extra journey to a post office out of their area.

  7. Steve Says:

    I agree with flurfy chicken. We live in a society where we are encouraging minimal use of the car and a green environment. So why not have it in a central place where everything is under one roof, instead of having to make another special journey?

  8. Jenny Says:

    It can’t have escaped everyone’s notice that small post offices are struggling these days. Do you really want to sound the death knell for the surrounding existing post offices? They are people’s livelihoods you know.

    We would all like every little thing to be on our own doorstep for our own convenience, but please think of the wider picture.

    As Chris points out, there are already post offices in Pear Tree Road, Simmonds View, Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke, Patchway and Filton, several of which are within one to two miles of Willow Brook Centre. You can already buy stamps in the Tesco Extra there, this being the most frequent post office type requirement.

    Be grateful for the Post Offices you already have. Many parts of the country do not have this luxury!

  9. NJG Says:

    I have no desire to see the office in Little Stoke close, but as a non driver it is very inconvenient to get to for me. On more than one occasion when the Royal Mail have tried to deliver a parcel and failed, instead of taking it to the sorting office in Derwent Close they have taken it to Little Stoke causing me a real headache to collect. A more centralised post office on a bus route would be ideal. Also, I believe that one of the complaints about at least the Pear Tree Road branch is that it does not offer the full range of Post Office Services, whereas a bigger branch could.

  10. flurfy chicken Says:

    No one wants to see other Post Offices closing, but as I said and as NJG says, you’re OK if you drive and are fit enough to walk one or two miles to the other post offices, but if you are not you are stuck. Yes, Tesco sell stamps, but I needed to send a large heavy parcel the other day, I could not have got it to another post office without the use of a car or bus or taxi.

  11. R.W.osmond Says:

    This is one of the worst ideas I have heard about. There is an outer ring of Post Offices serving the area, allowing people who do not drive to reach a Post Office. Having a branch in this main shopping location, will only lead to the decline in areas around, where those without transport can reach. I suspect that 95% or more that support this idea will not walk to Wiilow Brook and can easily get to one of the existing offices in their transport. Ultimately, with ideas like this, there will be only one shopping centre in the district. Definately not a good idea for the whole population of this area.

  12. Jenny Says:

    I understand what you are saying flurfy chicken, but how often does that situation arise for you? Is it a daily occurence, or once in a while? Are you okay with seeing the other post offices close and their livlihoods vanish? Then, what about the possible knock-on effect of the local shops around those post offices also closing because not so many people will then visit that rank of shops? Because that is what will most likely happen.

    Did anyone go to the meeting? If so, can you report what was said or happened here.

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