Hats off to the Royal Mail who have this week issued Hereford Futures an ultimatum they can’t ignore: pay for us to move or we’re staying put.
Royal Mail, who have premises on Station Approach, have said they will not be moving to make way for the ESG link road unless Herefordshire Council coughs up the cash to move them.
They say they want the council to pay for a feasibility test with a view of moving onto the nearby Jewson site or a complete move to another city location.
Royal Mail says it would only agree to a land swap if it came at no cost to them and they could guarantee no loss of service. If this is not met they say they will use their position of “enhanced powers” to resist the move. And good on them too!
For too long business in the line of the prospective link road have given in one by one to the council’s demands, despite the fact that funding is yet to be secured.
Herefordshire Council has consistently offered sub-standard compensation (if any) and bullied many small businesses into moving to new locations, often unsuitable for their needs.
With the ultimatum from the Royal Mail Group of ‘pay up or we’re staying put’, Herefordshire Council now has a serious dilemma on their hands: with both the ESG link road and shopping district yet to secure funding can they really afford to be paying out further millions to move Royal Mail, and is it all worth it given that so few retailers have officially signed up to the ESG scheme?
Royal Mail deserve to have their costs met, as should every other business that is being forced to move for the council’s barmy plans. But all this raises one further question for us taxpayers too: is this increased cost really all worth it when the council could be attracting retailers to the existing city centre instead, and could the extra money be better spent to help ease budget cuts elsewhere across the local authority?
One thing for certain is that Herefordshire Council and Hereford Futures have lost the plot and, if they had any sense, would abandon these insane plans in an instant.
We hope this marks a turning point and gives other businesses some back bone to refuse the move too!