Customers have demanded the under-threat Post Office (PO) at Earls Court remain open during a lively meeting with senior management figures.

Held at St Cuthbert’s Church on Thursday, around 120 people attended, urging PO bosses retain the Crown branch.

The meeting was organised by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council, after the PO announced plans to shut the branch and merge it with the existing branch at Kensington High Street.

It gave residents a platform to put their views across and ask questions about the proposed closure to the PO’s southern England regional manager Andrew Thompson, and Martine Munby from its public affairs team.

Also attending were the three Earls Court councillors Linda Wade (Lib Dem), Malcolm Spalding (Cons) and Fenella Aouane (Cons), who had joined forces to fight the closure. It was chaired by Councillor Marie-Therese Rossi.

The PO said the branch was making a loss with customers declining by 30% over the past eight years.

However, members of the audience said the branch was poorly run and understaffed, which resulted in customers staying away. It said profits and customers would return if the service improved.

Others said the closure was short-sighted, with thousands of new homes and businesses coming to the immediate area as part of the Earls Court development.

(l-r) Earls Court ward councillors Linda Wade, Fenella Aouane, Malcolm Spalding, chairman Cllr Marie-Therese Rossi, and the Post Office's Martine Munby (public affairs) and Andrew Thompson (southern England regional manager)

Ms Munby assured the audience that no definite decision had been taken to close the branch. She also said the lease for the building, which it rents from Transport for London (TfL) is due to expire next year.

This, along with the drop in customers and falling profits were key factors behind plans to shut the branch.

But audience members said the plans must be overturned, with several citing the huge imminent increase in population.

Amid shouts and heckles, one audience member said: “Have you thought what will happen with the Warwick Road development and Earls Court exhibition centre? Have you thought about how you will be able to accommodate all these extra people? Have you thought about the near future?”

Another said: “We should be working out how to expand it to deal with the growing numbers in the coming years and deal with the increases.”

'Vital service'

Others urged PO to relocate the branch, blaming the firm for allowing it to become vulnerable: “If you cut staff so queues remain long and slow than the statement that customers are going down is self-fulfilling.

"Take over the police station, get a better lay-out and serve the larger no of people living in the area very soon.”

Another member of the audience said: “You are responsible for it losing money. If you ran it properly, we would not be here today.”

Others said the Post Office should remain for more than justfinancial reasons: “Our community is being developed and that can mean devastation.

"The Post Office has a moral obligation to support the community that has supported it for 30 to 40 years. We need a Post Office.”

Another pointed out: “People are old and don’t have access to a computer. We need you not as a business but as a service to the community. It’s not all about money. It’s what the community needs and what the community desires.”

Afterwards, speaking on behalf of her fellow ward members, Cllr Aouane said: “There’s a strong sense of community around the Post Office. We do feel that there are some fairly easily solvable management issues in the branch and that if these were improved the Post Office they would get a more business from the area and therefore be on a stronger footing to return to profitability.

“We feel it is in the interests of the Post Office to continue serving customers in Earls Court until the new development is built, as the additional residents will help create a strong and flourishing business for them; at the same time providing a vital service for the most needy in the local community.”

The Post Office is proposing increasing staff members at High Street Kensington to deal with the extra numbers closed by the closures.

A public consultation will end on September 16.

To take part, go to and search ‘Earls Court’, email views to the Post Office at or call 03457 223344.