Banbury’s main post office is set for change as the High Street building is on a list of Crown outlets to be franchised.
Crown buildings are directly run by Post Office Ltd and although Banbury will still have a post office, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have said plans by the company ‘will result in services being reduced and confined to the back of sweet shops’.
Andy Furey, assistant secretary at CWU, said: “The closure of Crown post offices will have negative economic and social effects on high streets – even if moved just 500 yards into the back of a newsagent – with the businesses left behind suffering and the area going into decline. ”
Crown branches represent less than three per cent of the Post Office network of 11,500 branches but with high property costs and restricted growth opportunities in some locations, bosses say some Crown branches will not be able to make money.
Roger Gale, general manager of the Crown network, said: “In some locations, directly-run Crown Post Office branches work well but in others there are alternatives, such as franchising, which can work better for the business and its customers, not just in terms of access to Post Office services but also in relation to long term viability.
“We must address this and, like any High Street retailer, we have to continue to adapt to customer demands, which our network must reflect.”
No detailed plans have been drawn up but the Post Office added they would be consulting and supporting the 400 employees affected across the country.