General Post Office moves west

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The General Post Office is headed west, according to the press secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

During his weekly briefing, Anthony Newbold told the media that the new site will be the old Phil’s Food Services complex on Gladstone Road.

While no figure has been revealed for the purchase, Newbold said, the acquisition will bring to end the “nightmare” for postal workers who have been working in hazardous conditions in the existing East Hill Street general mail hub.

Under the former Christie administration, the government entered into a private-public partnership (PPP) arrangement for the purchase of the Independence Shopping Plaza on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, and construction commenced on the abandoned building.

However, due to push back from residents in the Garden Hills community, who questioned the need for the post office and voiced that it prohibited exit/entry into the community, a stop order was granted in early 2017.

Since then, government has changed and Newbold said, it is unclear what has happened with that arrangement.

“They (government) are still talking about what will happen at that location but the post office will not be there,” Newbold said.

He said the general post has been in a dire state for years due to flooding and mold, among other issues.

Officials from the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU) had deemed the building unfit for employees to work. For months’ employees were placed on abbreviated shifts which also impacted mail services to the Family Islands.

While word of a relocation is seemingly good news for employees, Eyewitness News spoke to residents at the East Hill post office Tuesday – many of whom said the relocation was “out of the way” and that the new post would be “difficult” to get to.

“I think it’s a bad idea,” said Paul Rolle.

“The government needs to fix this building properly. This post office is used by many in the inner city who have no trans to get all the way out there. Why do government make these hasty decisions without coming to the public first?”

Another resident, Mary Moxey said, she walks to the post office at least twice a month and that the Gladstone Road location is not ideal.

“That new location is really out of my way,” said Moxey.

“I have to walk or catch the bus and I don’t even know how the bus runs that way. I have no reason to go to Gladstone Road for anything. I think this is a big mistake.”

Newbold was confronted with similar concerns by members of the media but he reiterated that government views the new site as ideal.

“Everyone will have to make a way to get to the post office…,” said Newbold.

“We have to do something for the people of the post office and right now – for the government – this appears to be the best option.”