Branch saviour

I am meeting up with Derek French, who leads the campaign against bank branch closure. He tells me about Shirley Road Croydon which has lost its Post Office, HSBC and Barclays branch… and now the pharmacist is threatened.

We talk about whether the Postwatch ‘code’ on closure that operates for post offices (in normal times) could have relevance across these lifeline local services and how the new organisation could perhaps support communities that are faced with sudden threats like this to their high street and economic life. He says “don’t organise a public meeting, because if it is not packed out, they will hold it against you”, “don’t do a petition as they will say ‘these aren’t in fact our customers'” but individual letters do work well. All the more reason to have a local post office …

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