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Post office will stay open until December
LYME Regis Post Office has been granted a stay of execution as the current sub-postmaster has agreed to stay on until at least December.
Leslie Gilbert said he had told the Post Office he would continue running the post office on Broad Street as they try to find a successor or an alternative to keep the post office in the town until the winter.
Mr Gilbert said: “We have agreed with Post Office Ltd to keep the store open while they are in the process of trying to find a new sub-postmaster or an alternative solution.
“It is in our, the customers’ and the staff’s interest to do that. We have run post offices for 40 odd years and we have got a lot of experience and the last thing we want to do is leave the town without a post office.”
One of the main reasons Mr Gilbert wants to end his association with the post office in Lyme Regis is because he no longer feels it is profitable.
Mr Gilbert said although he didn’t want to see the town without a post office, he would still be looking to leave.
He said: “Ten years ago the post office was incredibly successful, but it has got worse ever since.
“Footfall into the shop has fallen dramatically in a big way over the past 10 years and our income has also reduced and is now failing to keep pace with the costs and our money from the Post Office for services we provide has also reduced.
“If the Post Office Ltd came back to us with a more attractive business model, making the branch profitable again, we would consider it but at the moment we are in a position that we want to leave and in an ideal world, we would pass it on.”
A spokesperson for the Post Office said the advertisement for the Lyme Regis post office had now closed and they were now holding discussions with interested parties.
The spokesman said: “The current sub-postmaster and the Post Office remain committed to maintaining a Post Office service in Lyme Regis and are working hard with the interested parties to secure Post Office services for the long term.
“Any potential changes to or relocation of the current service would be subject to a full public consultation and customers will be kept informed. We are committed to maintaining our physical presence at the heart of communities across the UK, and Lyme Regis is no exception to that.”
Councillor Mark Gage said: “We are very pleased to hear that the service is guaranteed until the end of the year. “We do remain extremely concerned on how the service is to be provided on an ongoing basis and offer what ever service we can to help, although as a town council it’s something we can only help by bringing people who are interested together.”