Pressure grows on Royal Mail over threatened closure of the Axbridge Sorting Office

Petitions, people power and old fashioned letters have forced Royal Mail to have a rethink over their planned closure of the Axbridge Sorting Office.

Replying to a letter from the town’s Chamber of Commerce, Royal Mail said they could confirm they were ‘reviewing the Royal Mail operation in Axbridge.’ Michael Hogg, their senior public relations manager said they were in discussions with the Communication Workers Union over the matter and would keep the Chamber updated.

The Post Office postmaster Richard Helps said it was a positive step as the closure of the Sorting Office would make the Post Office next door financially unviable.

Speaking for the Chamber Harry Mottram said he hoped the review were not empty words. He said: “Jobs are at stake as is the prosperity of the town so I trust Michael Hogg’s are no weasel words. Hundreds have signed the petitions – both online and in the Post Office and we continue to urge residents and all interested parties to back the campaign to retain the Sorting Office in the town to secure the future of the Post Office.”

The former MP Tessa Munt for the area and town councillor Ben Ferguson have set up an online petition and have lobbied Royal Mail along with a number of residents and the business community to prevent the closure.

One of the town’s businesses based in Axbridge Square is Enable. In a letter to the Royal Mail the CEO Neil Barnes said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news that Axbridge Sorting office may be subject to closure. This well- established function in our town has been one of our core pillars and an extension of our services that our business offers to our domestic and international clients.

“As a company we send many hundreds, and for certain campaigns thousands of items over a year in fulfilling our obligations to our clients. We made a decision to use Royal Mail on a few key factors: The close proximity allows our business to easily integrate to Royal Mail for our PO BOX and other sorting services.”

The Sorting Office is scheduled for closure this summer when its operation will be moved to Winscombe.