'Tactless' claim at post office closure

Post Office officials were branded tactless after it was claimed an one of them tried to get a postbox sealed up three months before a proposed closure and before a consultation on it ends.

Post Office officials were branded tactless after it was claimed an one of them tried to get a postbox sealed up three months before a proposed closure and before a consultation on it ends.

Beeston post office was called by an official from Peterborough who asked to arrange a date to seal up the branch's postbox, a customer who overheard the conversation said.

It then transpired the branch had also been sent shredding machines, it was thought for the closure process.

Beeston is one of 51 branches in Norfolk, including Wells Road in Fakenham, the Post Office has proposed to close.


You may also want to watch:


But it has repeatedly said no decision will be made until after the consultation ends on June 2.

Mid Norfolk MP Keith Simpson branded the move as “tactless” on Tuesday and said it was devastating for people fighting to keep the branch open.

Most Read

He said: “The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing and it undermines everything they are doing.”

A Post Office spokesman said no final decision had been made, that they appreciated the process was “difficult” and that the shredding machines were not for the closure process, but for general use.

Di Walthew, a villager who was in the shop when the official called, said: “I am angry at the deceit. If the decision has been made, why is all this money being spent on this consultation and shredders?

“Like hospitals and schools, post offices should be considered a service to the community. That is why it is here.”

She said the postmistress was told by a Post Office official from Peterborough that they had been asked to arrange a date to come and seal up the post box.

She heard as the caller

was told the consultation period was not over yet -

only to be asked if they

could come as soon as it was over, but before the final decision had been made later in July.

A Post Office spokesman said: “No decisions will be taken on Post Office proposed closures until after the public consultation is complete.

“But planning processes have to be put in place well in advance in order to ensure services are not disrupted if closure goes ahead. We appreciate this may be difficult, but it is a necessary part of the process in order to ensure disruption to customer service as well as to the subpostmaster concerned are kept to a minimum.

“However, the postbox will not be closed at that office if it does not close.”

Debbie Noakes, sub-postmistress at the shop, confirmed an official had called while customers were in the shop but she could not comment any further on it.

Mrs Walthew said closure of the Beeston post office would be a blow to many vulnerable and elderly people, the route to the next post office, at Litcham, was not walkable and to get public transport there would mean staying in bed and breakfast accommodation at Litcham.

The campaign to retain the Wells Road post office at Fakenham is continuing and Brett Corder, proprietor of the Budgens local store that houses the sub post office, said they now have 1,604 names on their Save Our Post Office petition.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter