A public meeting to discuss the future of Ballymena’s main Post Office is to be held in The Braid theatre next Tuesday, September 17, at 7pm.
It is being called by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) in response to fears that Post Office Ltd plans to close the Crown Post Office on Wellington Street and sell the property.
In a letter to Ballymena Borough Council, which was tabled at Thursday night’s planning committee meeting, Lawrence Huston, CWU Regional Secretary (NI), wrote: “We believe the Crown Post Office is the nucleus of business in the community and the Wellingston Street office has served the people of Ballymena and district loyally for many years.
“The threat to sell off the property will damage business and we are also concerned as to the future job prospects for our ‘counters members’ whose jobs will be put in jeopardy by any sell-off.”
Mr Huston added that management of Post Office Ltd. had been invited to attend the public meeting.
Revealing details earlier this year of its business transformation programme, Post Office pointed out that the Crown branches are currently operating at a £40m annual loss and that it is keen to make them profitable once again.
The Wellington Street branch is one of 70 Crown branches across the UK which are involved in a consultation over their future, with Post Office stressing it is not a “closure programme”.
Instead, Post Office is seeking for a “retail partner” to take on the franchise, either at the existing location or another outlet nearby.
It is understood the move would be similar to existing smaller franchises which are located within supermarkets and other outlets.
In his letter to Council, Mr Huston expressed the hope that the Mayor and councillors would attend next week’s public meeting and this was supported by Alderman PJ McAvoy.
“That will be an opportunity to speak to Post Office Ltd management because this is what they are going to try to do - close Wellington Street,” said Ald. McAvoy.