Friday, 14 January 2011

Are there plans for a new Tesco on London Road?

We all know that successive Government policy has forced the closure of many Post Offices - some villages, and many urban areas, have seen their Post Offices close - often with devastating impacts on communities.

This is all set to get even worse, as plans originally championed by Peter Mandelson and the Labour Party finally received parliamentary support yesterday: the Royal Mail is to be sold off.

The Green Party's sole MP Caroline Lucas voted gainst the proposals, of course (we belive that the post is an essential public service a vital community hub, especially for older residents, and that it should remain entirely in public ownership), but her view didn't prevail.

But even before the new privatisation received MPs' go-ahead, the local community was rocked by the news that Post Office Counters hopes to close its store in London Road and re-open its old one on Preston Road instead.

The news is a massive blow for the thousands living in the area who use the Post Office but for whom travelling an extra mile is completely out of the question.

Remember that it was only two years ago the nearby Trafalgar Street PO shut, forcing many city centre residents (especially those in the Tarner area) to travel to London Road: now they'll be left with no local Post Office at all.

If you're appalled at the idea, I encourage you to sign the petition organised by the local Green Party councillors.

But the great irony is that business is booming at the London Road PO. It's well run, is used by many, and is in a great location - all of which begs the question: what pressure is being put on Post Office counters to move?

Is it, perhaps, that there are plans for the old Co-op building which houses the post office no-one's telling us about yet? Another Tesco perhaps, now they've being driven out of the New England area and abandoned plans to open a store on the site of the Lewes Road Community Garden? Watch this space...

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