Saturday 16 March 2013

Consultation on the proposed St. James Community Post Office

The Post Office is running a public consultation on the proposal to move the West Hampstead Post Office from its present location in West End Lane to St. James Church on the corner West End Lane/ Sherriff Road, 200 yards south.

The current Post Master is unwell and cannot continue to work.
Under the Post Office Network Transformation Programme the current site is too small for a new Post Office and a new site is needed.
St. James Church is the only site of suitable size currently on offer in the West End Lane vicinity.
After a public bidding process last year, the Post Office accepted St.James as a suitable venue.
The Church is preparing its business case, plans and additional fundraising efforts are being developed.      The Church authorities are supportive of the proposals.

The Proposal
The new 3 counter Post Office will be placed in the Church at the rear of the building together with a cafe and shop selling stationery.
The building will remain a Church for worship on Sundays and through the use of a separate side chapel for daily worship away from the retain and Post office areas.
The complex of Post Office, Cafe and Shop will be run by a Social Enterprise Charity - The St. James Trust - which will lease space from the Church and be run separately from the Church.
The Trust will employ the Post Office, Cafe and Shop staff, meet running costs, pay back any loans incurred and then any 'profit' will be put back into the community through employed community workers.
It is hoped to provide through the income:
      -   Debt advice service, in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau
      -   Family Support Worker offering Toddler drop ins and parenting support
      -   Youth Worker offering Youth Cafe and support
      -   Pensioner support through subsidised Lunch Club in the cafe.
The new Centre will be open Monday-Saturday from 8am until 6pm with the main Post Office open  9-5.30pm and some 'out of hours' provision.

This proposed scheme would be the first of its kind in an urban area in the UK and the Post Office would like to hear the views of local residents and businesses:
By Phone - Call 08457 223344
By email -
By letter - write to National Consultation Team, PO Ltd., PO Box 1138, St. Albans AL1 9UN
Closing Date:  5th April 2013

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