On Wednesday afternoon, Mark is to present a petition in parliament to object to the proposed closure of the Lupus Street Post Office.
The petition has been signed by over seven-hundred Pimlico residents concerned about the loss of this precious local amenity.
Mark shares residents’ concerns about the Lupus Street closure and has been vigorously opposing it. Along with local ward councillors, he has spent a couple of Saturdays outside the branch collecting signatures for the petition. Westminster City Council has decided, ‘given the Post Office’s significance to the local community’ to propose that, following the expiry of the premises’ present lease in November 2015, a new ten-year lease is granted to the Post Office at the same rent as is currently payable in the hope that it may entice them to keep the branch open.
Mark has also made robust representations to the Chief Executive of the Post Office, appealing for her to reconsider the proposal. Writing to Paula Vennells, he cautioned,
‘this particular branch is in a relatively impoverished area of my constituency and serves several large housing estates where there is a significant number of elderly and at risk residents reliant on its services. If the closure goes ahead, the nearest Post Office branch will either be on Vauxhall Bridge Road or Eccleston Street. Eccleston Street is outside Pimlico in Victoria, whilst Vauxhall Bridge Road acts as a natural local dividing line as it is effectively a six lane motorway and not pedestrian friendly. In central London such distances are far more pronounced and would be problematic for those with mobility issues.
I appreciate the Post Office is under financial pressure and has successfully managed to form commercial partnerships with local retailers, such as W H Smith & Ryman, to maintain service levels where Post Office branches have closed. Please would you clarify whether this option has been fully explored in Lupus Street.’