Post Office in a butchers? Consultation on potential move opens

Hollingsworth's store and butchers could also contain a Post Office in the future Picture: SARAH LUC

Hollingsworth's store and butchers - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Shopping for stamps next to steaks might be the future for Chelmondiston after the Post Office proposed moving to a counter inside a local shop.

The potential relocation of Chelmondiston Post Office to Hollingsworths Store and Butchers, in Church Road, would see the service move just 50 meters from its current location - but provide over double the opening hours.

The office is currently open 8.30am-1pm on weekdays, but the new counter would be open 8am-5.30pm weekdays and 8am-5pm on Saturdays.

The Post Office describe the in-store proposal as a “new-style” open-plan counter alongside the retail counter.

Wendy Hamilton, Post Office Area Network Change Manager, said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.

“We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future.”

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The move from the current location in Main Road comes with the consent of Susanna Patten, Chelmondiston’s current Postmaster, who is retiring.

There has been no announcement regarding the appointment of a new Postmaster or the creation of any jobs as a result of the additional opening hours.

The services available to customers would be almost identical - customers would now be able to get change for larger notes but would no longer be able to send Parcelforce Worldwide International parcels and express deliveries would be limited to Express 24 and 48 services.

Disabled access would be possible with a temporary ramp.

The consultation opened on February 15 and will last six weeks before closing on March 29.

Customers, residents and interested parties are invited to give their comments on the move, with the Post Office most interested in feedback about accessibility and local community issues.

Customers can share their views during the consultation online on the Post Office website - the branch code for this consultation is 065130.The Communication Workers Union (CWU), who represent postal workers, protested in December 2018 in Ipswich when a crown Post Office in Tavern Street’s WHSmith was taken over by the high street chain, claiming that services and customers would suffer.The CWU was approached for comment.