Consultation is launched on Cumbernauld Post Office move

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:52 on 3 December 2014.
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Cumbernauld Post Office could move from Clyde Walk to Teviot Walk. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
 




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LOCAL residents are being asked to make their views known on proposals being mooted by the Post Office, which would see Cumbernauld’s Post Office, in Cumbernauld Town Centre, shift to a new premises on the other side of Central Way.

The Post Office has confirmed suggestions that they have their eyes firmly set on a vacant unit in Cumbernauld Shopping Centre – with proposals being put forward for public consultation, which would see the Teviot Walk unit become home to the town’s main Crown Post Office.

As part of the proposals being outlined by the business, the Post Office had said that the move to the new unit, at 7-9 Teviot Walk, would see a full-scale modernisation of the branch take place, while extended opening hours would be a regular feature of the new location.

Situated approximately 320 metres from its current location at Clyde Walk in Cumbernauld Town Centre, the new shop unit would see the coupling of both a local Post Office and a new newsagents for the shopping centre. 

Under the proposals being consulted upon, the new location for Cumbernauld Post Office would undergo significant refurbishment; offer the same wide range of products and services as are offered at the current branch; and be available from 8:30am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. 

The move would also see the new Office boasting two screened serving positions, two open-plan and a fifth serving Post Office needs as a retail counter. 

Should the move go ahead, Cumbernauld Post Office would benefit from the addition of a private area in which customers can discuss the Post Office’s range of financial and telephony services with specialist staff – although a cash machine for the proposed new branch has yet to be confirmed, due to ongoing discussions with its provider. 

In addition to the extended opening hours, modernisation programme and a continuation of the usual services, the new location would also house a newsagents.

ZCO Ltd have been confirmed at the partners. The company offers stationery, books and news and regard the Post Office network as a vital part of community services. They have successfully operated a number of Post Office branches across the UK over a number of years – and, according to Post Office research, customer satisfaction levels are just as high for customers visiting franchise branches as for those who access Post Office services via the existing Crown network.

The proposed move is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network designed to ensure that Post Office branches are sustainable, profitable and no longer reliant on Government funding. The modernisation programme is making it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern retail environments.

Cumbernauld Post Office is currently one of around 340 Crown branches directly owned by Post Office Ltd. The vast majority of Post Office branches - over 10,000 - are successfully run by carefully selected third parties within their retail premises, although the Post Office has confirmed that their priority is to ensure that it can provide the services that will meet customer needs, both now and into the future, and secure the long-term viability of the organisation and the network.

Roger Gale, Crown Network General Manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in Cumbernauld and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate the branch, so if the move goes ahead it will be run by ZCO Ltd rather than by us directly.”

Mr Gale confirmed that there would be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the proposed move of Cumbernauld Post Office; and stressed that Post Office Ltd will be working to ensure the needs of branch colleagues are met if the move goes ahead, whether that is a transfer to the new employer or redeployment in the Post Office, explaining that: “All staff have the legal right to transfer to the new operator if they wish under TUPE legislation.”

A consultation into the proposals has now been opened; and, as part of the process, Post Office Ltd has announced it will welcome feedback on issues such as the location, the proposed premises, accessibility, or community issues that customers would like considered before a final decision is made on this proposal. The consultation will close on 19 January 2014. 

The Post Office will also host a customer forum on the proposed move in the coming weeks. The customer forum will operate as a drop-in information session, with the date and venue for the event to be announced soon – with the intention being to inform customers of the details of the proposal to move Cumbernauld Post Office from its current location and to give more information on the potential new service.

During the consultation, submissions can be made through the online questionnaire at postofficeviews.co.uk, by FREEPOST Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, via the Customer Helpline on 08457 22 33 44 or Textphone 08457 22 33 55.

If the proposals go ahead then the proposed time of the relocation is expected to be in March 2015.
 
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