Fears for future of village post offices
A RETIRING partner in a rural post office, due to close at the end of the month has said he fears for the future of village branches.Bob Sullivan, 70, who with wife Florence, 68, is leaving Whepstead Post Office, criticised the Government's decision to pay pensions into the bank and said this could spell the end.
A RETIRING partner in a rural post office, due to close at the end of the month has said he fears for the future of village branches.
Bob Sullivan, 70, who with wife Florence, 68, is leaving Whepstead Post Office, criticised the Government's decision to pay pensions into the bank and said this could spell the end.
He said: "I think there is soon going to be no need for village post offices. "One of the reasons we had enough was because of the Government's decision to pay pensions into banks.
"We just felt it was time to move on and hopefully someone in the village might take on the post office but I doubt it – I feel the writing is one the wall for rural post offices.
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"The older people in this village have no transport and no bus service so what are they going to do without a post office? We were their last hope."
Anne Braybrooke parish council chairman said: "Residents are all going to be very sad to see the post office go and there is some concern, but things are going on behind the scenes and we hope to get some form of post office in the village, if only for a couple of days a week.
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"We are very sad to lose Bob and Flo, they have done a fantastic job and we are going to miss them."
Supported by the parish council, Whepstead Community Association is now looking into the possibility of housing a post office in the village community centre.
The Brockley Road branch is due to close on July 30 but a Post Office spokesman said they were actively looking for someone to take over elsewhere in the village.
Rural transfer advisor Steve Rayner said: "We are committed to retaining easily accessible and relevant services for the loyal customers of Whepstead Post Office.
"We will continue to work hard behind the scenes with local community groups with the intention of restoring post office services as quickly as possible.
"We would urgently like to hear from potential applicants with premises available for this important position."
From next month , residents are encouraged to use post offices in Horringer and Horringer Road, Bury St Edmunds.
Anyone interested in the sub-postmaster vacancy should contact the Post Office's agency recruitment on 0845 601 6260.