Doomed post office gets second chance
A POST office threatened with closure after it was taken over by a supermarket giant looks to have earned a reprieve.Bosses at Tesco planned to shut the branch on the Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds after purchasing its premises, but have now agreed to meet the costs of relocation.
A POST office threatened with closure after it was taken over by a supermarket giant looks to have earned a reprieve.
Bosses at Tesco planned to shut the branch on the Moreton Hall estate in Bury St Edmunds after purchasing its premises, but have now agreed to meet the costs of relocation.
The move means residents, who fought against the closure plans, will be provided with an alternative facility in their nearby Community Centre - should officials at Post Office Ltd agree to the proposal.
"This is an example of people power and a big victory," said David Ruffley, MP for Bury, who met with Tesco bosses on Wednesday to secure the compromise.
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"We said we would leave no stone unturned on this. You need a never-say-die approach when dealing with big companies like Tesco, and I was determined the supermarket showed social responsibility to several thousand of my constituents on the Moreton Hall estate.
"The sub-post office is a vital community resource, and I believe Tesco have made important concessions by actually funding the relocation with its money.
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"I will be closely involved over the coming weeks to bring this to a conclusion."
The post office in the One-Stop shop in Lawson Place, first came under threat when Tesco purchased the store and revealed plans to replace the much-used facility with a bakery.
Furious residents vowed to fight the move, packing a public meeting - chaired by Mr Ruffley and attended by officials from the supermarket chain - to demand action.
Many threatened to boycott the Tesco store should the post office be scrapped, and their voices now appear to have been heard.
David North, government affairs director for Tesco, said: "Our aim has always been that the community should, if possible, have both a great new Tesco Express and a post office.
"We have explained why it is not possible to retain the post office in the store, and had a very constructive meeting with David Ruffley MP on Wednesday.
"We confirmed that we would be willing both to forego any good-will charge normally sought when transferring this type of business and to meet the reasonable costs of relocating the post office to the Community Centre - provided Post Office Ltd confirm this is a viable way forward."