Fears over post office's future quashed

12:00pm Friday 11th July 2014

By Rachel Stretton

THE Post Office has moved to reassure villagers after fears for the future of the service in Burton Bradstock.

Hundreds of residents packed into a parish council meeting last week after the current sub-postmistress Gwen Holdcroft announced she would be leaving the business.

Laura Tarling, senior stakeholder manager for the Post Office, said Gwen would be remaining in the job until a replacement is found.

Applications closed on Tuesday and the parish council has registered an interest.

Councillor Keith Delves said the parish council is ‘very keen’ to retain the service both for the benefit of Burton Bradstock residents and for people living in the surrounding rural communities.

Despite the Post Office’s reassurances that the service will not be closed, concerns remain over the location.

Coun Delves said: “We would like to keep the post office in the existing building.

“We have not been reassured as to the location it could be in Burton Bradstock because they have not confirmed that it won’t move.

“What they have actually said was that, if it does move, it won’t move very far.

“But we are very keen to keep it in the village and in the centre of the village, but we will have to come up with a business plan to utilise the existing building in a way the Post Office approves of.”

The turnout at the meeting shows how important the service is to villagers who rely upon it, Coun Delves added.

Ms Tarling added: “The current postmistress has indicated she would like to leave. Naturally there were some concerns and I attended the parish council meeting to explain that we are advertising for a new applicant.

“There is no threat of closure. The postmistress is still in the post and she is working with the Post Office to ensure we will appoint someone before she leaves.”

The Burton Bradstock Post Office is undergoing a modernisation process along with others in the country.

Ms Tarling added: “We are talking with other postmasters and postmistresses across the network to find out where they see the future of the business.

“We are still very much in the early stages of this process but it’s something we are committed to.”

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