UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Local councillor is ‘very worried’ about Birkenhead Post Office
A local councillor is “very worried” for the future of Birkenhead town centre’s Post Office.
In November last year it was reported that Birkenhead’s WHSmith store would close in July 2021, meaning the Post Office inside the store would also have to shut down.
But more than three months after the announcement, the Post Office is still not able to guarantee that a new site for the vital service will be found.
A spokesperson for the Post Office said it was “working hard” to find a new base.
Cllr Pat Cleary, a Green Party councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere, said the failure to guarantee that a new town centre site will be found “sent alarm bells ringing” in his head.
The Green councillor added: “The town centre is not exactly short of empty retail units, if the will was there I’m sure there is a place to house the Post Office.
“Given that the news on WHSmith has been around for some time [the lack of clarity] does send alarm bells ringing.
“I would make a plea to the Post Office to consider how important it is to have a branch in the town centre.”
Cllr Cleary said the potential for there to be no Post Office in Birkenhead town centre was a major issue in the context of the emerging regeneration of the area.
Major plans include the creation of a new market, greater public open space and a modern residential quarter, all designed to revive the town.
The Birkenhead and Tranmere councillor added: “I will be speaking to colleagues at Wirral Council to see what they are doing to seek to continue the presence of a Post Office in the town.
“We are investing a huge amount in the town centre in the face of incredible difficulties, the last thing we need is an anchor tenant like the Post Office not maintaining a presence.
“The nearest Post Office to this one would be on Market Street just around the corner from Hamilton Square.
“If you think about where most people do their shopping that is quite a trek.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “The operator for Birkenhead Post Office has announced the difficult decision to close their store, where the Post Office is based, in July.
“We know how important a Post Office is to a community and we are working hard to find a replacement retailer to operate the branch. The vacancy is advertised here (www.runapostoffice.co.uk).”
A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: “Having a vibrant, mixed-use town centre is a strategic priority for Wirral Council and it is vital we have the facilities and services that are needed by our community.
“Access to a post office is fundamental for local people and businesses and we continue to work with providers to help identify location opportunities which offer a good-fit to meet their specific requirements.”
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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