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More than 500 people have signed new petition to fight the franchise of Barkingside Post Office.

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The branch, which is one of the last crowd post offices in Redbridge, is due to be closed and moved into a shop over the coming months.

A “suitable franchise partner” has not yet been found and the Post Office said services will continue as normal until that happens.

Cllr Wes Streeting, the parliamentary candidate for Ilford North, started the petition with the Ilford North Labour Party.

He said more than 500 people have already signed the petition on paper and now it has moved online.

Cllr Streeting added: “Our crown post office is valued by our community and must be protected.

“The existing branch is already crowded during peak periods. I just don’t see how downsizing will benefit customers.”

A former petition to the government had no success stopping the franchise but Cllr Streeting thinks there is “a fighting chance”.

The branch, in High Road, is one of 70 crown offices across the country earmarked for franchises in cost-cutting measures aiming to stem £37million losses.

The Communication Workers’ Union staged 11 rounds of strike action in just five months last year over the plan and disputes about jobs and pay.

Residents voiced their concerns at a meeting with Post Office officials in September.

Sign the petition at www.wesstreeting.org/barkingsidepo.

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