"I am delighted at this change of heart by Tesco; I have been in constant contact with the Post Office and Tesco since Tesco first announced that there would be no room in the store and the Post Office would have to go. I have made it clear that the Post Office in the town is a vital part of the network of services to my constituents, and that its future was a matter of deep concern to all my constituents in Whitchurch. I have been in close touch with the Town Council and welcome the fact that Tesco have had second thoughts and decided that the Post Office can stay and that they will now work hard to rebuild relationships with the community. This was a good example of Town Councillors, Borough Councillors and Parliament all working together in the interests of those we represent."
"I am now working on the next possible problem - in Charlton."
This is the text of the fax from Tesco
Rt Hon Sir George Young Esq. MP
20 August 2004
Dear Sir George
I am pleased to be able to update you on the latest situation with regards to the Tesco Express conversion in Winchester Street, Whitchurch and plans for the One Stop in Charlton Village, Andover.
As you are aware we try to retain post offices in One Stop and Tesco Express stores where we can and have done so in a large majority of cases. We have looked again at whether it might be possible to retain the post office in the Whitchurch store. In this specific case, the shape of the store and the layout of its space has enabled us to come forward with an alternative plan that will retain the post office The Post Office will close for 4 weeks during the period of the refit and after that time will re-open within the newly converted Tesco Express. We will provide a free weekly bus service to a local post office during the conversion so that customers have continued access to a post office facility.
In your letter of 29 July you also asked for further information on our plans for the One Stop in Charlton Village, Andover. We have retained a large majority of the post offices in the stores purchased from T&S Stores, including among the stores subsequently converted to Tesco Express. However, we have not have not yet assessed this particular store as to its suitability for conversion to Tesco Express, and as to whether, if it were converted, there would be sufficient space to retain the post office. As you will be aware, in the minority of cases where we cannot retain the post office, we would provide significant financial and other help to relocate the post office locally so that the community can benefit from a first-class New Tesco store and a local post office.
I will of course update you once a decision has been taken on our plans for the store If you would like to meet to discuss our approach further I would be delighted to do so.
CSR & Government Affairs Director