Post offices saved in revamp of service
POST offices in the Royston area have been spared from closure under consultation documents released this week. However, the offices in Arrington and Sandon are among those which may be replaced by outreach services. The Post Office has announced a list o
POST offices in the Royston area have been spared from closure under consultation documents released this week.
However, the offices in Arrington and Sandon are among those which may be replaced by outreach services.
The Post Office has announced a list of 71 post offices across Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and South Lincolnshire which are being proposed for closure. A further 17 branches are set to be replaced by outreach services, such as mobile post offices, or part-time branches housed within existing businesses.
A final decision on which Post Offices will be closed is set to be made in September, once a six-week consultation period has come to an end.
The mood of post office managers in this area following the announcement was one of cautious relief.
Trisha Covington, of Steeple Morden Post Office, said: "It's great for the community; so many people have already told me how happy they are that we're not on the list for closure.
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"But we're not very happy with the way Royal Mail have handled things. They only let us know on Tuesday morning, so we've been hanging on, waiting to learn our fate. It's been a very unsettling two years.
"We won't know for certain that we're not being shut down until September, but as we're not in the consultation hopefully there won't be any problems," she said.
This view was echoed by David Bray, from Barley Post Office. He said: "It's still very up in the air what is going to happen. Unfortunately the Post Office is not what it was.
"Even though we are not in the consultation list, we have to wait until September to be sure."
Arrington Post Office, which is based in the Hardwicke Arms Hotel, is currently only open on a part time basis, three days a week.
South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley said he was "disappointed" by the closure plans, which will affect Arrington and four other villages in his constituency.
He said: "We have an opportunity to challenge [the plans] during this short consultation period. I certainly will work closely with the villages concerned to do that.
"We will have to define what those [outreach] services will look like," he said.
The public consultation period will run until Tuesday August 19.
Laura Tarling, the Post Office's Network Development Manager for Cambs, Herts, Beds, and South Lincs, said: "We want to ensure that everyone who uses, relies on or has any concern with Post Office services is both fully aware of the proposed changes, and able to give views on them.