Businesses campaign to reinstate Skinner Street’s post office

James Fearnley and other campaigners who would like to see a Post Office open on Skinner Street''w133905
James Fearnley and other campaigners who would like to see a Post Office open on Skinner Street''w133905

Businesses on Skinner Street have launched a campaign to get the area’s post office reinstated.

It is being led by James Fearnley from the Dispensary, a community interest organisation, and he is already a quarter of the way into gathering the 1000 signatures he needs.

Once he has hit the 1000 mark he will lobby the Post Office to see if a service can be included within his new business venture.

The Dispensary is looking to take over the former borough council offices in Skinner Street and it is hoped a post office can be based in there along with the cafe and credit union he is planning.

There will also be access to the internet, information and business and housing advice.

Mr Fearnley said: “I started it three weeks ago just to see what the interest was like and now it is quite clear there is huge interest.

“We hope to move to the old borough council building because it has been sorely missed since it closed down.

“A lot of people came to that building and as a result came to Skinner Street`and it has really quite badly affected the street and trade.

“There is obviously a very strong desire for a post office and I think that would form a centre piece for the for the return of that building to the community.”

He said one man band businesses and people in and around the Skinner Street and West Cliff areas who work from home struggle to access the post offices at the Co-op and on the East side and there was a consumer need for another branch.

Mr Fearnley added: “It is time that the Post Office responded to what the consumer wants and not what their commercial analysis tells us.

“All we are trying to prove here is that there is a consensus of real people who live in Whitby who don’t want to have to walk all the way down the hill and queue all the time at the Co-op.”

The old Skinner Street post office closed down around four years ago.

This one would be run as a separate entity to the Dispensary and sub branches in other facilities like Glaisdale shop, for example, have already proved successful and a visitor to Whitby who is looking to move to the town on a permanent basis has expressed interest in running the post office.

Tim Collier, who runs Meadow clothes shop with his wife Caroline, said it would be useful to have even a small facility as it would save him having to close the shop and go to the Parade post office.

He said: “I would certainly use it if it was here and there for the convenience.

“It would not help with the banking but for the mail orders and postal services definitely.

“To use the parade, you can’t just nip out, you have to make a journey of it.

“It would be a focus for Skinner Street and would be a boost for all businesses.”

Mr Fearnley added that the Post Office might argue there is a branch just over half a mile away but said it was not as accessible as it seemed on paper.

The Gazette contacted the Post Office for a comment but it was unavailable.