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'Heart torn' from Norfolk village

PUBLISHED: 10:39 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 July 2010

Richard Parr

A village community has been left reeling following the sudden closure of its last pub - and the post office services which were based there.

The 700-plus residents of Bradenham feel the heart has been torn from their community and are anxious to find ways in which post offices services can be restored as soon as possible.

A village community has been left reeling following the sudden closure of its last pub - and the post office services which were based there.

The 700-plus residents of Bradenham feel the heart has been torn from their community and are anxious to find ways in which post offices services can be restored as soon as possible.

Parish council chairman Chris Allhusen has accused the Post Office of being “heavy handed” in the way that it has suddenly withdrawn the limited range of services from the community, following the sudden closure of the Lord Nelson pub.

“The post office facilities, particularly for elderly residents in Bradenham are a lifeline and for these to be withdrawn overnight without any explanation is really not good enough,” said Mr Allusen.

The issue is due to be discussed later this month at the next meeting of Bradenham parish council.

He described the loss of the post office services as a “great pity and sadness” because a lot of people in the community depend on those services. The nearest facilities are three miles away in Shipdham.

Mr Allusen said that he was aware that the village pub had been struggling for some time and suddenly the Post Office withdrew its services with no prior consultation or notice.

He said it is hoped that the owners of the pub will try and sell it and when it re-opens the post offices services can be restored - but he is aware that this could take some time.

Parish councillor Martine Brigstock said she returned from holiday a week ago to find the service suddenly gone.

“Now the village doesn't have anything,” she said. “There used to be about five pubs and three shops, now there's just two specialist businesses but no general shops. We do feel a bit cut off,” she said.

Breckland District councillor Theresa Hewett described the situation as “incredibly sad” and said it is a huge loss for a community.

She said it was not practical and too dangerous for people to walk to Shipdham.

The Norfolk Rural Community Council has also expressed concern over the loss of such a key service in Bradenham.

Chief executive Jon Clemo said that there are other ways that post offices services could be delivered such as two or three mornings a week from the village hall. The NRCC would be happy to work with the Post Office company and the parish council in finding a way forward.

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said that Bradenham post office temporarily closed on April 9 due to the current sub- postmasters tendering their resignation and the premises were no longer available for post office use.

“We understand that customers in East Bradenham will be concerned about the future of post office services in their area. The provision of a post office in the local community is important to us and we are working hard to restore services in the area.

The spokesman added: “We apologise to customers for any inconvenience the temporary closure of this post office may cause.

The Times has been unable to talk to anyone from the Lord Nelson pub.


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