Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Our AGM is at 6pm tomorrow, here at the Forum. We'll be talking about how to keep the post office in community ownership!

Darnall Forum's AGM will take place at 6pm on Wednesday, in the Forum's offices next-door to the post office. Anyone who lives or works in Darnall, Attercliffe and Acres Hill is eligible to attend.

The meeting will be asked to help keep Darnall Post Office in local community ownership.  Forum Manager Neil Bishop said, "The charity has lost more than 60% of its Council funding since we took over the post office and, although it is doing well and has won several awards, we can no longer afford to run the post office ourselves because we're desperately short of money for the other things we do."

The Forum took over the post office in 2010 after it had been closed for most of that year, causing serious inconvenience and hardship to local people. In what was then a groundbreaking move, the Forum became the first charity to take ownership of a post office in a city location, although there are now charity run post offices as far apart as Newcastle and London.

Mr Bishop said, "The trustees don't want to have to sell the post office to the highest bidder because they remember what happened before it was owned by the community and they don't want to risk it closing again - this time for good. Unfortunately, the charity owning all of it is no longer a solution so they are asking local residents and traders to buy shares in the post office. The staff of the post office have already said that they are wiling to invest their own money in it, but we need support from local people too."

Next week we will be writing to 5,000 local residents and traders asking for your help, but the AGM on Wednesday will be the first opportunity to give your backing to a new model of ownership where, instead of being owned entirely by the Forum the post office would become a Fair Shares organisation. 

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