Walworth Road Post Office Franchsing Consultation - ends 23rd August

After 18 months, the Post Office has finally chosen a potential franchisee for the Walworth Road PO and is holding a 6 week consultation (at the height of the summer holidays!) to get people's thoughts about it. There are of course real concerns about turning the Crown Post Office into a franchise but the PO seem pretty set on that so we are just trying to get a number of points across in response to the consultation.

There are two main ways to get involved:

1) There is a Post Office public consultation event next Thursday 17th August from 4.30pm to 8pm at the Newington Estate Tenants Hall at 77 Canterbury Place SE17 3AD and/or

2) There is an online form that you can fill in to get across any points you wish to make. We have created a short link to the form below and also listed some of the points/concerns that we plan to get across. Please feel free to include these and any others in any response. Please do take a minute to respond - the online consultation closes 23rd August.

 

Access the online consultation form at:

Points to make might include...

1. That it is vital to retain the Post Office facility in Walworth and on the Walworth Road. Guarantees from the PO are requested that the service will be retained at an appropriate size to meet the significant level of demand that there is for PO services in the Walworth area in the existing building or in another building on the Walworth Road south of Wansey St.

 

2. A parcel collection facility is needed in the Walworth/SE17 area and there is no more appropriate location for this than in the PO building (especially if the developers of the Crampton St Sorting Office do not give guarantees that a service will be created within the commercial parts of that redevelopment). The current threat to the two services at the same time is extremely damaging to our area and the presence of the facility in Mandela Way is simply not an appropriate substitution for this loss. The PO and Royal Mail need to work together to create a parcel collection facility/service in Walworth.

 

3. There are concerns about the robustness of the organisation that is proposed to take on the Walworth Road Post Office owing to their apparent relatively limited experience of a busy urban Post Office. Guarantees are needed that the Post Office will a) give support to the organisation that is proposed to take over in Walworth so that they are able to take this on service successfully and b) that they are not able to walk away from the service if things get tough and leave Walworth with no post office service and that the Post Office will step in to provide support to find a replacement for them. Overall the importance of this service to the Walworth area and the fears that local people have of its loss cannot be stressed enough.

 

4. There are concerns at the timing and nature of this consultation. After 18 months of uncertainty, just a 6-week consultation has been undertaken at the height of the summer period with the only public discussion/interaction with people in Walworth being a drop-in session rather than the public meeting that had been promised.

Walworth Town Hall - Future

Our Walworth Society meeting on 6th July focuses on Southwark Council's proposals for the Walworth Town Hall. Cllr Mark Williams, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes will attend the meeting to outline Southwark's newly published plans and take questions about them. Please do come along if you can.

 

Walworth Society Monthly Meeting – Thursday 6th July 7pm. The meeting notes appear in the pdf attached below.

 

The details of Southwark's latest plans are summarised below in a recent statement (June 2017) from Cllr Williams:

Please see the note about the Town Hall from Cllr Mark Williams, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and New Homes below. We have invited Cllr Williams to a future Walworth Society meeting to discuss the issues around this and will of course have this as an agenda item for our 6th July meeting.

Further to our previous discussions we will be considering a report at our next cabinet meeting on the future of Walworth Town Hall. We have carefully considered the work that we carried out jointly with you last year and unfortunately we are not in a position to allocate the additional £16-20m of capital needed to refurbish the buildings. We also now faced increased pressure on our revenue budgets and would not be able to afford to run services from the buildings even if we could afford to refurbish them. We did consider whether the works could be phased but this would not save the money required.

The report going to cabinet proposes to go to market to seek an arts and/or cultural use for the building. We have decided to go down this route (as opposed to a straight forward disposal) as we want to maintain as much public access as possible and bring in a use that will add to the vibrancy of the Walworth Road and support a mixed economy in the area. We will use some of the remaining capital that we have left from the project to secure a new Newington Library, in the local area, to replace the temporary home currently in The Artworks as this project is due to complete late next year. We will hold back the remaining capital allocated to the Walworth Town Hall project to potentially assist renovation work for an arts or cultural use.

This does not affect the meanwhile temporary use for the Newington Library. For the Walworth Town Hall itself we envisage a two stage process with expressions of interest and then tender negotiations.


The link to the report that went to Cabinet (Tuesday 20th June is in the link below:

http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/documents/s69044/Report%20Walworth%20Town%20Hall%20mandate%20review.pdf


 

The Walworth Society made a deputation to Southwark Council's Cabinet on Wednesday 18th July to discuss the results of the survey that we had been running over the Spring in conjucntion with the Walworth Councillors and the public meeting that was held on July 6th. The text of the deputation appears in the file below along with the report of the research.

Additional information