Campaigners yesterday won a last-minute stay of execution in the battle to save historic Uplands Post Office. Just 35 minutes before Postmaster Robin Craig was due to shut his shop for the final time, solicitors in London’s High Court confirmed that a deal had finally been done with Postal chiefs.
It follows an 11th hour legal challenge on behalf of a 73-year disabled lady from Uplands. She is seeking a judicial review of the decision to close the popular Post Office.
The Post Office has served the hilly community of Uplands for more than 150 years. With an annual turnover of £2.6 million, it remains a popular and profitable business.
Cllr Andy Read explained: ‘As with all legal cases the future remains unclear. What we do know, is that in the face of an injunction, Postal chiefs backed down and finally accepted our offer to help fund Uplands. Postal workers were due to strip the shop of all it’s fixtures on Tuesday. Instead it has opened for business as usual. That alone is a major breakthrough.’
‘We have had this offer on the table since February. It’s a shame that someone had to go to the High Court to get them to listen. Hopefully we can now have proper discussions to find a way to keep Uplands in business on a sustainable basis.’
Stroud Mayor John Marjoram said that campaigners had been planning to lay a wreath at the door of Post Office Headquarters in London at 5.30pm if the legal challenge had failed. ‘Instead our MP David Drew invited us for tea in Parliament to celebrate!’ he said. ‘I am absolutely delighted. We were told we were wasting our time going to London on the final day. But we pledged to do everything possible to keep Uplands open. Sometimes you just have to try everything to get a result.’
The Town Council is not taking the action itself but has provided evidence in support of the claim. The solicitor acting for the Uplands resident is the same person who has been given the go-ahead to seek a judicial review of the decision to close a Post Office in