Royal Mail reviewing town sorting office closure
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Plans to shut Axbridge Sorting Office are being assessed by Royal Mail following the community’s fight to save the service in town.
It follows the news that the sorting office, in St Mary’s Street, was given a 12-week closure notice by Royal Mail last month and is set to be relocated to Winscombe.
The community is facing the same battle it won three years ago, when the town council and local MP reversed Royal Mail’s decision to close Axbridge Sorting Office in August 2018.
In a recent letter to Axbridge Chamber of Commerce, Royal Mail confirmed it is ‘reviewing the Royal Mail operation in Axbridge'. Royal Mail senior public relations manager, Michael Hogg, said the company is in discussions with the Communication Workers Union over the proposed sorting office relocation in town and will keep the Chamber updated.
Axbridge Chamber of Commerce secretary, Harry Mottram, said without the sorting office, the Post Office next door is ‘likely to be unviable and could eventually be forced to close’.
He added: “Jobs are at stake as is the prosperity of the town, so I trust Michael's statements are no weasel words.
“Hundreds have signed the petitions – both online and in the Post Office, and we continue to urge residents and all interested parties to back the campaign to retain Axbridge Sorting Office to secure the future of the Post Office.”
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Former Wells MP Tessa Munt and Axbridge town councillor Ben Ferguson have set up an online petition to prevent the sorting office closure, which has so far gained 311 signatures. They have also lobbied Royal Mail along with residents and the business community to prevent the company from closing its operations in Axbridge.
Wells MP James Heappey, whose constituents live in Axbridge, said: “I am deeply concerned to hear of Royal Mail’s plans to revisit the requirement to move the sorting office in Axbridge.
“Having spoken to the Post Master and having had a number of meetings with Royal Mail, I was reassured to hear that even if the sorting office is moved, no jobs are under threat and packages can still be collected from the Axbridge Post Office.
“However, I also know that local residents are concerned that losing the sorting office might make the Post Office itself less viable. For that reason, I am encouraging Royal Mail to reconsider their plans and have been clear with them just how strongly the community wishes to see the status quo preserved.”
To sign the Save Axbridge Sorting Office petition, log-on to https://www.wellslibdems.org.uk/save_axbridge_sorting_office