South Lakes MP Tim Farron has reacted with horror to the news that the town’s post office is set to be closed and relocated into the WHSmith store.
Post Office Ltd today announced the plan to close the post office during 2019.
Tim said: “This is devasting news for Kendal. Given the much smaller size of the WHSmith store, it’s hard to see how this won’t be a serious downgrade to the services available to local people.
“We demand better for local residents. Having lost many rural post office branches over the last 20 years, the one service we could reasonably have expected to be safe is our area’s main post office.
“That’s why I am launching a campaign to save Kendal Post Office. We have shown when we stand together as a community we can save local services – and we now need to stand together as a community again.”
The Westmorland & Lonsdale Labour Party is shocked at the announcement.
Paul Braithwaite, local Labour Party Chair, said: “It is somewhat ironic that the announcement was made on the same day as that by W.H. Smith, of the closure of several of its high street branches.”
“We will fight any plans to further outsource this vital local public service.
“Rural areas like Cumbria are already under great pressure from the withdrawal of public services of all kinds. It is also right that Post Office staff must have their jobs, their pay and conditions safeguarded.”
Regarding the involvement of Tim Farron, Kendal’s MP, in his comments about saving the Post Office, Paul added: “It is a bit rich for Tim Farron to become all concerned about the future of Kendal Post Office. Let’s not forget that it was his Liberal Democrat Party, in Government with the Tories, that passed the 2011 Postal Services Act, enabling Post Office Ltd to become independent of Royal Mail Group, setting the scene for further ‘modernisation’, including the outsourcing to franchises of many more of the 300 remaining Crown Post Offices.”