Shock, dismay and anger has been widely expressed with the announcement last week that the Barry Crown Post Office on Holton Road has been earmarked for closure.
It is hard to believe that such a plan can be devised by the Post Office with no regard for the importance of the Crown Post Office for the people of Barry, (the largest town in Wales) customers and local businesses, and no consultation with the Welsh Government.
With the loss of post offices in Highlight Park and Colcot Road, and now the threat to the central Crown Post Office opposite the Civic Offices, in the main shopping area of Barry, served by road and rail, this is a devastating sign of ignorance and disregard by the Post Office who want to ‘outsource’ nearly 100 Crown Post Offices across the UK.
This is simply unacceptable and also shows how little the Post Office cares about this vital service or its workforce. Last week I met Post Office representatives and expressed my views, and said I would campaign against the closure of the Crown Post Office in Barry. I also contacted the Communication Workers Union, and they told me they would be campaigning locally and nationally in defence of the Crown Network -describing the plans as “blatant privatisation.” http://www.cwu.org/media/news/2016/january/19/starstarnew-videostarstar-defend-crown-offices-reunite-the-people-s-post/
I launched a petition last week and signatures are pouring in. Hard copy petitions are available in Holton Road shops and businesses and at my office at 115 High Street, Barry CF62 7DT. I have also launched an online petition this week:
Get in touch and join the campaign against the closure of our Crown Post Office in Barry
At the same time as this bad news hit us, the people of Llantwit Major and surrounding villages were facing the closure of yet another bank with the announcement that Barclays would be closing its branch in March. This follows the closure of the Natwest Branch in November. The campaign to keep the Natwest open was supported by local people, businesses and charities with the Town Council in full support of the campaign.
I forwarded an Impact Assessment supported by Councillor Gywn John detailing the evidence we had collected about the negative impact the Natwest closure would have and we proposed a way forward for the bank to remain open on a part-time basis with a local business.
All ignored by Natwest.
We will do the same with Barclays, and we have added to the evidence about the difficulties for churches, charities and events like the Victorian Fair where cash is collected and needs to be banked quickly and accurately. I have also met with the bank and Post Office to discuss how this can be handled.
The question being asked in Llantwit is, will Lloyds stay open?
This week I had the following message from Manager Simeon Morrison Brown of Lloyds:
“I would like to first assure you that we have no current plans to close branches in your constituency.” (Lloyds Bank)
We must hold Lloyds Bank to that promise.
I am also meeting the CEO of the Principality Building Society next week to discuss ways in which they can help to serve the people of Llantwit with the financial services they should be entitled to.
The Welsh Government has been investing £millions in the regeneration of Barry and Llantwit Major in partnership with the Vale Council and the private sector. The renewal and revival of our town centres and coastline is widely welcomed. Will the banks and Post Office listen to public opinion? We must make sure our strong and united voices against these closures are heard.
Jane Hutt AM