ALMOST 1,000 residents have urged Harrow Council and a local MP to start lobbying for a replacement South Harrow Post Office.
Two petitions were submitted to the authority yesterday, following the closure of the branch in Northolt Road on October 21.
Post Office Ltd has given different versions of events to Kaushik Shah, the owner of the shop, KP Retail, in which it was based.
More than 800 people put their name to a petition from the Communication Workers' Union handed in by Roxbourne ward councillor and CWU representative Graham Henson (Labour).
It said: "We, the undersigned, are appalled at the recent closure of the Post Office in South Harrow, leav
ing the shopping centre devoid of Post Office services, which is seriously affecting residents and businesses alike.
"We call on Harrow Council and Gareth Thomas MP to urgently make representations to Post Office Ltd to seek the immediate reinstatement of a Crown Post Office in South Harrow shopping centre."
Crown Post Offices are run directly by the Post Office while sub-post offices are run by a sub-post master, effectively a franchisee.
South Harrow Post Office was a Crown Post Office until spring 2004, when Mr Shah took it over and began running it as a sub-post office. He signed a five-year non-closure agreement to ensure the service's medium-term survival - a contract that expires on November 6.
In April this year Mr Shah stopped running the branch and a temporary sub-post master took over. It is the resignation of Mr
Shah's replacement that appears to have sparked the decision from Post Office Ltd to shut up shop.
The second petition handed over to the council, by Harrow On The Hill ward councillor Eileen Kinnear (Conservative), contained just under 150 names. Mrs Kinnear said: "I had recently received calls from Hill ward people because, with the closure of The Hill Post Office and the one at Shaftesbury Circle over a period of two or three years, they have been forced to use the one at South Harrow.
"With the South Harrow Post Office closed, they are doubly inconvenienced and they have to travel a fair distance now.
"It's very upsetting and aggrieving, so we set up the petition."