Lynne Featherstone MP calls for top post office boss to bust queues in Hornsey and Wood Green

Lynne and Richard BarkerWith residents continuing to suffer from long queues at post offices in Hornsey and Wood Green, three years after Labour closed half the area’s post offices, Lynne Featherstone MP recently met with the top post office boss to get action on queues.
The Liberal Democrat MP last Monday met with Richard Barker, manager of the post office network, to discuss steps to cut queues at post offices in Wood Green, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. Mr Barker confirmed that the waiting times at the Crown Post Offices continue to exceed the 4 minute target, with Wood Green the worst offender, with average waiting times of almost 10 minutes. To cut the queues Mr Barker has now promised to put in a special ‘queue buster programme’, with new queue management systems and extra staff.
Liberal Democrats in Government have promised not to close any more post offices, and are working with The Post Office team on new innovations to make the network sustainable across the UK.
Lynne Featherstone MP comments:
“Since Labour closed half our post office here in Hornsey and Wood Green, queues have gone from bad to worse. 
“Local people using the Wood Green office are particularly badly hit, but I am glad that the Post Office bosses are keeping a close eye, and are doing their best to bust the queues!
“Rest assured, I’ll be watching this one very closely. If residents have concerns about long Post Office queues, or any other related issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch – I’m always happy to help.”

Music, hospitals, pensions and Post Offices

Another round-up of what I’ve been doing in the last few days – other than cursing the difficulty of typing whilst I’ve still got the cast!

– Had a marvellous evening at the 130th Anniversary Concert of the Highgate Choral Society – of which I am a patron. Elgar’s Apostles was absolutely superb and hugely enjoyable. Happy anniversary and well done.

– Walked around the almost ready Hornsey Hospital. It looks like this is going to be the bees’ knees as our new local community health centre – and after all the fears and doubts I suspect the community will love it. I will certainly be using the after-hours GP service, I’m sure. It has been really carefully designed. My goodness it has had a long gestation and many incarnations since we first campaigned against the closure of the old hospital and the promise was then made to put a new health facility on the site!

I was very excited by the words of Peter Christian (doctor from Dukes Avenue) who was talking about a collaborative approach amongst GPs and involving the local community more – including give a strong voice to patients.

– Met with the local pensioner lobby, and hear their demands for the state pension to bring people above the poverty line at £165.00, funded by removing the higher rate pension relief and using the NI fund which has a lot of money in it to fund the rises in the pension.

– Went to Muswell Hill Post Office to praise their work at cutting queuing times there. Fantastic improvement – so well done to them.

Muswell Hill Post Office – update

I have a local constituent on a mission to improve services at Muswell Hill Post Office. The queues since the closure of our local sub post offices have lengthened and he wants them to do something about it. This is additional to all the campaigns and work we have all been doing on Post Office queues anyway.

So – we all met – my constituent, the branch manager, area manager and regional manager upstairs at Muswell Hill Post Office.

Have to say – dreadful building, complete rabbit warren, very poor behind the scenes spaces. In fact, we asked to look at the plans for this summer’s refurb (where I have been promised maximised seating – presently there is none for older or frail people in long queues). The new plans are better and show two seats (hardly a seat-fest – but given the limits of the space probably as much as can be squeezed in).

However, my view is that this is a cosmetic improvement – and it will be slightly better in that the queue will be inside and the space is marginally better organised – but they need more space! Now that they have shoved us into their Crown Offices – cosmetic uplifts aren’t enough. They should take over Woollies or find a decent space.

Anyway – on queuing the managers did seem to agree with us that they need to reorganise their staff to be there at the times when there is peak demand – and despite some challenges – they will strive towards this.

My constituent (who prefers to remain nameless) has agreed a reporting format to keep a watch on how the improvements to – so watch this space.