Petition to save ‘essential’ store and post office signed by more than 500 people
PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 March 2020
A petition has been started in Clevedon to try to stop the closure of a ‘much-needed’ post office and shop.
Southern Co-op, in Old Street, and the post office will be closing on April 24.
The online petition has attracted almost 200 signatures and a petition in the shop has had more than 500 people add their names in support.
A Southern Co-op employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Times 16 members of staff will lose their jobs.
They said: “We’ve had so much support from customers, a lot of people desperately need a Co-op store, it is its own community.
“A lot of elderly and disabled people cannot shop anywhere else, it is much-needed.
“We were told on March 20 with no indication before then.
“We were told it is a commercial decision but it is an open secret that the 10-year lease is due for renewal and they don’t want to pay it, but the store is performing well and making a profit.
“The community will be worse off when this store closes, especially in a time when people need their local shops more than ever.
“Our emails to head office asking for clarification about our futures have been ignored, the whole situation has been handled terribly, our customers are as shocked as we are.”
Southern Co-op has announced it will close along with the post office.
Co-op chief operating officer Simon Eastwood previously told the Times the decision was made before the coronavirus outbreak.
A spokesman for the store said: “This is a commercial decision based on a number of external factors and does not in any way reflect negatively on the hard work and commitment of our colleagues in our retail store.
“We have looked at how the community will continue to be supported after the closure and are reassured that there are a large number of alternative supermarkets and convenience stores nearby.”
A letter jointly signed by Clevedon BID, chamber of commerce and town and district councillors sent to Mark Smith, Southern Co-op’s chief executive, suggested a development plan should be created ‘to save this store and post office in the short and long term’.
To sign the petition, visit www.bit.ly/petitionclevedon.
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