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Anger over decision to cut opening hours at Suffolk village post office

PUBLISHED: 12:08 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:08 29 June 2018

Elmswell Post Office, which will only be open three-days-a-week from Monday Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Elmswell Post Office, which will only be open three-days-a-week from Monday Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

The decision to reduce opening hours at a west Suffolk post office which is a “vital part of the community” has angered villagers.

From Monday, Elmswell Post Office will only be open three-days-a-week after previously being available to residents from Monday through to Saturday.

David Sixsmith, 78, who lives in the village, said there has been no consultation over the changes – which will now see the post office open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-1pm and 2pm-5.30pm.

The Post Office said it had reviewed the opening hours and the changes were based on current usage.

Mr Sixsmith said: “There has been no public notice of the proposal, no consultation, it’s outrageous.

“Who is making these decisions and on what basis are they being made?

“Elmswell is an ever expanding village and needs these services.

“There are a lot of small businesses and elderly people who use it.

“Perhaps next the same person making this decision will claim not enough footfall for three days and close the post office completely.”

Jane Storey, county councillor for Elmswell, said she sent an email to Jo Churchill MP about the hours reduction this week.

“The post office is a vital part of the community and when you consider of course that Elmswell is an expanding village, it seems strange to reduce the hours of a service which is so plainly in use,” she said.

“I know of people from Woolpit who travel to Elmswell to use the post office because of the services which are provided there.

“It does seem a bizarre business decision to cut a service which serves so many people.”

Previous proposals to move the post office into the pharmacy and the Co-op next door did not happen after villagers campaigned against the plans.

Fred Pallett, chairman of Elmswell Parish Council, said: “We will continue to lobby as we did before. That is all we can do.”

The Post Office said: “We have reviewed opening hours at Elmswell Post Office and we are introducing changes based on current usage.

“The postmasters who operate post offices on our behalf need to ensure the long-term future of a branch by ensuring the financial viability of a branch.”

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