Local MP Helen Hayes hand delivered a letter to Moya Green, Royal mail CEO - the text is as follows:

As you will know, last year, Royal Mail announced plans to close the East Dulwich SE 22 and West Norwood SE 27 delivery offices in the Dulwich and Westwood constituency. These proposed closures would have significant and highly detrimental consequences for residents in both postcode areas. Residents in SE 22 would have to travel to the Peckham delivery office, which is in an inaccessible location with no on-street parking. Residents from some parts of SE22 would have to catch two buses. Residents in SE 27 will be required to travel even further, to the Penge delivery office, catching two buses on a journey which often takes an hour in each direction.

 

We are particularly concerned about the impact that these plans will have on elderly and disabled residents, on families with small children, and on small businesses. The vast majority of the local economy in Dulwich and West Norwood comprises small businesses - approximately 3500, many of whom are sole traders. Many of these businesses choose to collect their mail because they can do so at a time that they determine, rather than having to wait in for parcel deliveries - being able to rearrange this delivery does not solve this problem, and having to travel a much longer distance to collect mail would have a significant impact on the productivity and competitiveness of many local businesses. In previous correspondence, Royal Mail has also failed to address the impact of the proposed closures on P.O. Box customers who pay for the service Royal Mail provides and who will also be greatly inconvenienced by the closures.

We are concerned that Royal Mail has undertaken no formal consultation on the proposed closures with the local communities who be affected, And no impact assessment of the closures. Notwithstanding Royal Mail’s lack of consultation, the strength of feeling in our community is absolutely clear, with hundreds of residents having attended protests against the closures and more than a thousand having responded to our survey seeking local views. Residents are overwhelmingly opposed to the closures.

Finally, we are concerned that in relation to West Norwood, Royal Mail may be working on the false assumption that it will be able to dispose of the delivery office site for housing. Lambeth Council is absolutely clear that the site sits within its key industrial and business area - which affords a very strong level of protection for employment uses - there is no possibility that planning permission will be granted for housing on the delivery office site, and this will have a significant impact on the value that one mail would realise from disposal.

We are therefore writing in the strongest possible terms ask you to reconsider the proposal to close East Dulwich and West Norwood delivery offices. In East Dulwich we understand the need for more space for sorting mail, but there is no reason why will Royal Mail cannot maintain a front counter collection service in Silvester Road or elsewhere in the SE 22 area. In West Norwood, the proposal to require residents travel to Penge to collect their mail is simply unacceptable, and there is no reason why the current delivery office needs to close. We ask you on behalf of the committee we represent to keep our delivery offices open.

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