Campaigners rejoice as axed Hoxton Post Office is set to reopen

Plans to reopen an old Post Office in Hoxton have received a warm welcome following a two year campaign to restore the service.

Plans to reopen an old Post Office in Hoxton have received a warm welcome following a two year campaign to restore the service.

Murray Grove Post Office, which has been closed since June 2008, will be back in business by the end of November after a neighbouring chemist agreed to move in.

Chandrakant Patel of Murray’s Chemist, Murray Grove, has teamed up with Hackney Council to reopen the service.

Mr Chandrakant, who has just relocated his store to abandoned site, said: “I think the local community really wanted a Post Office from the beginning – it was a shame it closed down in the first place.

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“We wanted bigger premises so it worked both ways.”

The old Post Office was among seven branches in the borough shut down amid residents’ anger as part of Royal Mail cut backs.

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Critics argued the closure would hit Hackney’s elderly and vulnerable residents hardest as many used the service to collect pensions and benefits.

Hoxton ward councillor Philip Glanville was one of the campaigners who collected over a thousand signatures calling for the service to be reopened.

“It’s fantastic news for Hoxton and Murray Grove especially,” he said.

This week’s announcement comes after a public consultation last summer showed widespread demand for the service.

Age Concern Hackney, a charity promoting the wellbeing of older people, added its support to the move.

Chief officer Olexandra Stepaniuk, said: “Post office services provide a vital face to face service for many of our older people.

“So it is good news that this service is returning to Hoxton.”

The Post Office, which will offer postal and banking services, foreign exchange and the sale of premium bonds, will be funded by the council for a maximum of five years with a review in two years’ time.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe, said: “We’re pleased to have found a partner who we believe will bring the right business skills and experience to run the Post Office successfully.

“Once the Post Office reopens, residents and businesses will need to support it by using it regularly to ensure the council can keep it open for them in the long-term.”

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