Post Office bosses have been accused of ignoring their own consultation ahead of their controversial move to Boston’s WH Smith store.
Coun Derek Richmond, Boston Borough Council’s town centre portfolio holder, has spoken out following the Post Office’s announcement last week that its plans to relocate the Wide Bargate branch will go ahead next month.
The move comes despite significant public opposition.
Coun Richmond said: “Post Office managers have ignored the findings of their own consultation, which might suggest that a decision to move was made some time ago and certainly before the end of the consultation period.
“Nevertheless, a commercial decision to move has been made and the Post Office and WH Smith will now have to prove that all customers can be satisfactorily accommodated. I have major reservations on that score.”
Coun Richmond added the council was concerned over the future of the ‘iconic’ and ‘historic’ building, which was built in 1907 and is Grade II listed, questioning whether Post Office bosses had followed Government guidance on exiting such sites.
He said: “The guidance says that any options for reuse should be considered before deciding to sell and that unused heritage assets need to be actively protected.
“All vacant and non-operational historic buildings should be regularly inspected and maintained in a secure, safe and stable condition pending disposal.”
He added the guidance says English Heritage should be consulted at an early stage and given the opportunity to comment regarding any site where there is potential for a significant heritage issue and that every effort should be made to avoid heritage assets being allowed to stand empty for a long period.
He said: “We have asked for the Post Office to comment on these issues.”