Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, paid visits last Friday to the four post offices in his constituency that have been proposed for closure. At each of the branches Mr Timms met with the postmaster, to find out how they felt about the proposals, and also spoke to local residents who will be affected if the closures go ahead.
The four branches that are facing closure are located at 96 Warrior Square in Manor Park, 710 Romford Road in Manor Park, 241 Katherine Road in Forest Gate and 240 Masterman Road in East Ham. At two of the post offices – the Warrior Square and Masterman Road branches – local residents had arranged demonstrations to show the depth of the support for their local post offices, and their opposition to the suggested closure.
Speaking at one of the demonstrations, Mr Timms said: "The Post Office faces some real financial challenges in the years ahead. Many people now access essential services through the internet, and across the country the Post Office has fewer customers as a result. I am afraid it seems inevitable that some Post Office branches will have to close in the years ahead, but it is vital that we make sure that the right branches are closed, and that communities aren’t left without essential services as a result."
"My visit to the four Post Offices in my constituency that have been proposed for closure has left me in no doubt about the high level of support that the local community has for these branches. In the coming weeks I will be seeking a meeting with senior Royal Mail staff to discuss the concerns that have been raised with me, and to see if there is any way that some of these branches can be kept open."