Uncertainty over store's post office
SUPERMARKET bosses today declared a post office threatened with being axed can stay on their premises – if someone else can be found to operate it.Management at Morrisons say while they will not run the outlet at the store in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, they are quite happy for a new tenant to be found to keep it going.
SUPERMARKET bosses today declared a post office threatened with being axed can stay on their premises – if someone else can be found to operate it.
Management at Morrisons say while they will not run the outlet at the store in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, they are quite happy for a new tenant to be found to keep it going.
The store – previously Safeway – will be relaunched as Morrisons on October 7 and a refurbishment programme is about to start.
The company has received a string of complaints about its decision to give Post Office Ltd notice that it intends to end the franchise for running the instore post office which had been operated by Safeway.
Felixstowe Town Council has written a strong letter of protest and asked Sir Ken Morrison personally to intervene and save the post office from closure, and Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer has also been involved in the campaign.
The sub office serves a community of nearly 8,000 people plus all the firms at the port and councillors have warned the company that getting rid of it could see it lose business with people having to travel into the town centre instead.
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Roger Owen, property director for Morrison Supermarkets plc, said the company had received a number of letters about the post office.
It operated the facility on a fixed term franchise but the company did not run post offices and on two occasions when it had acquired stores with one it had terminated the agreements at the earliest opportunity.
Mr Owen said the "mass of petty bureaucracy" in the operation of the units made it unviable to operate a sub post office.
"Given that the franchise is for a finite period only, we have taken the decision to serve notice on the Post Office at the earliest opportunity in order that they can find alternative operators or tenants for the operation of this facility when the existing agreement expires," he said.
"We have said that we are more than happy to see a post office retained on our premises, but leased to, and operated by, someone else.
"It is wrong therefore to say that we are closing the post office. This will be a decision for Post Office Ltd and not ourselves."
He was unable to comment on how the store refurbishment may affect other departments – there is concern about the future of the instore pharmacy and small shops adjoining the supermarket – and said people should "wait and see".
A petition against the post office closure has been started by residents and can be signed in the BASICS charity shop next door to the supermarket.
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