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Closure plans shelved

Diane Inglis

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Marple and Bredbury Royal Mail Dave Kennedy Stockport William Wragg MP

Proposals to close Marple and Bredbury sorting offices and relocate the 84 staff and services to an out-of-town delivery office in Stockport have been shelved.

Following a two year consultation, Royal Mail has announced that the plan to move the two offices to Green Lane, just off the M60, does not make business sense and that the two district offices will now remain open.

Earlier this month the company stated that it will be business as usual for staff and that members of the public in the two areas will still be served by their regular postmen and postwomen and be able to collect undelivered parcels from their local office.

A statement by Royal Mail announced: “We will now not relocate Bredbury and Marple delivery offices to the main Stockport mail processing delivery office. 

“Both moves were reviewed again extensively and now do not make business sense for Royal Mail to move these offices. This also involved further detailed discussions with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and our people who are based at both offices.”

However Dave Kennedy, CWU Branch Secretary expressed his dissatisfaction that it had taken two years for the decision to be made: “We are obviously really pleased with the outcome but we have to question how the company can justify allowing this level of uncertainty to hang over our members and the public for so long. 

“They were told from the outset that the proposals were fundamentally flawed and they were urged to drop them at every opportunity. Instead, they chose to relentlessly pursue the unachievable.

“The union doesn’t believe that such a dogmatic approach has any place in any modern industrial relations environment and we invite the company to think very carefully before they bring forward any unworkable plans in the future,” he added.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: "Royal Mail has taken its time to review every aspect of this move, including various points the CWU asked us to look at. This has taken time  to be completely sure that this move would have been right for our staff and our customers. The decision has been taken not to go ahead with this move at the current time.  We are committed to resolving any issues the CWU have.”

Concerns about lack of work space and parking issues at the Stockport office were expressed at the time along with traffic congestion for staff having to drive to and from Stockport to collect the mail for their rounds.

William Wragg, Hazel Grove MP, who organised a petition against the closures, was also happy with the result and told the Review: “I am obviously very pleased that the Royal Mail has seen sense over this issue and delighted that the petition we submitted, signed by thousands of people, helped bring about this result.

“This news has been welcomed by staff and local residents alike who won’t lose the convenience of being able to pick up their parcels from the local offices,” he concluded.