Uplands is one of 26 branches in Gloucestershire now confirmed as being among the 2,500 Post Offices around the country to be closed under the government’s controversial Network Change programme.
After ignoring our detailed submission against the closure, Post Office Limited then broke its promise to discuss any rescue plan to keep it open. After 150 years of serving the local community, Uplands is currently due to sell its final stamps on Monday June 9.
However at the annual meeting of the Town Council on Monday May 12th councillors unanimously supported a proposal from deputy mayor Andy Read, to go directly to Post Office bosses with real cash on the table.
‘We attended a meeting between Stroud District Council and Post Office Limited last week,’ explained Cllr Read (pictured right). ‘We were again told by Post Office Limited that they would not discuss any subsidy option for Uplands. We presented them with additional information and asked them to look at that decision again. Their official has never got back to us.’
‘The door has been slammed in our face before we even got half way up the path.’
‘My suggestion is that we now go directly to Post Office bosses with a cheque for £75,000, put it on the table and say ‘The money is there, let’s have meaningful discussions.’’
Based on the figures the town council has been given, the funding of £25,000 for three years will guarantee that Uplands will not cost Post Office Limited a single penny.
Cllr Read represents the part of town that includes the Uplands office. He added: ‘Ever since this sorry process began, I have heard from people who use this facility what an effect it’s loss will have on their lives. There are small business who will not survive without it. There are many elderly and disabled people who can not get to the town centre office, and there are the three people who will lose their jobs if the closure goes ahead.’
‘This council recognizes the fantastic communities which make up this town so special. Uplands is a vital part of that. We have the money in our reserves. It’s roughly the same amount that we spend every year on collecting rubbish and removing graffiti. I believe this is something that local people are willing to pay for.’