I met new Post Office minister Jo Swinson last night and presented her with a 12 page document putting forward the arguments to re-open Ladybarn Post Office. This follows a meeting I had recently with former minister Norman Lamb.
The last Labour Government decimated Manchester's Post Offices. 33 were closed in 13 years.
The last set of closures were in 2008. 5 Post Offices closed, including the Wilmslow Rd branch in East Didsbury and Ladybarn Post Office at 106 Mauldeth Road.
We campaigned hard to keep these Post Offices open - presenting a 1500 name petition, but Labour's closures happened despite our best efforts.
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Now the Ladybarn Post Office may have a new lease of life! It is the Government’s aim to expand the Post Office Network and this Post Office would be an excellent opportunity to see the effects that would have.
There are 4 major reasons why Labybarn Post Office should re-open.
1) Population increase
The poulation in the area went up by 17.48% from 2003-2010.
2) The number of pensioners and the ethnic diversity of the area is increasing.
There is a projected increase of 12.4% for residents aged 65+ from 2010 to 2015
Mauldeth Road Primary School, now has 68.2% of children from ethnic minorities reflecting the growing number of young families from ethnic minorities in the Ladybarn area - families which are now supported by a local mosque, a large halal butchers and other facilities. It is predicted that ethnic minorities will make up 29.26% of Withington by 2015
3) Public support for re-opening.
In a survey by local Councillor Simon Wheale, every respondent said that they would use a Post Office at the Ladybarn Shops if it were re-opened and 70% of respondents said that they would use a re-opened Ladybarn Post Office MORE OFTEN than they currently do.
4) Local Post Office providers.
The Co-op has a branch on Mauldeth Rd locally, and a current manager of a nearby Post Office, has also expressed an interest.
Let’s hope that we get to see this Post Office open again, and that this is the beginning of more Post Office re-openings across Manchester.