Written evidence submitted by Susan Craddock (POH0014)
I would like to approach you regarding concerns I have over my business and investment in the Post Office.
I was very distressed in May 2017 to learn that Post Office Ltd intended to place a post office in the housing scheme in my town barely 0.5 miles from my office.
Despite many emails and phone calls between myself, Peter Johnson, Neil Ennis, Calum Greenhow and apparent interjection from George Thomson (verbal communication only) my requests were dismissed and the new office opened in December 2017.
I knew my office wouldn’t survive this and decided to move my business to a larger shop and open a coffee shop to support the post office. Although myself, my husband and five staff members work extremely hard my Post Office salary is reduced by at least £15000 a year and is not sustainable. I have to live on tax credits and have barely taken any salary for the past two years.
I have now learnt that the ‘white space’ has failed, but Post Office Ltd are advertising the opportunity again. I feel that the whole episode was an unmitigated disaster for all concerned
Can I please suggest that there is NO opportunity except to take business from my office which is not the way I should be treated by the company I have worked for all of my adult life.
I would like to suggest that no extra post office should be openedin Largs, as there is no viability for two in this area and I would like guarantees from you regarding this matter. My initial concern, which was ignored, has proved indeed to be correct.
Furthermore, I consider this to be an act of bad faith on the part of the Post Office. I was assured prior to signing the NT contract that this wouldn’t happen, as it was a concern of mine. I now believe that I was told this just to get me to sign and that the advisor should not have commented as she had no such authority. I now consider that this could be a breach of my contract and that I should be compensated for my loss in income due to this decision.
I am sharing figures with you of the sums I have lost due to the white space including what it cost to move the Post Office to keep it afloat during this trying time. I would also like to add that, despite the obvious pressures, I have kept to my extra opening hours and have kept the office fully staffed during this time.
Regarding the horizon issues, I also list losses my office has encountered which I do not believe myself or my staff have caused. There have been unexplained losses on a regular basis over the past few years and frequent claims from the cash centre which I believe are not proven and are wrong. It if my understanding that the burden of proof is now on Post Office Ltd to provide undisputable evidence that losses were caused by myself or I should expect reimbursement.
Annual Remuneration 2017 £72211.44
Horizon costs to move equipment £5804.20
Post Office losses, Shortages, Horizon and Cash centre