Watchdog calls for post office action

CONSUMER watchdog chiefs today called for urgent action to ensure a post office threatened with closure is not lost.Supermarket giant Morrisons has said it will not run the outlet at its store in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, but is quite happy for a new tenant to be found to keep it going or for it to move to alternative premises.

CONSUMER watchdog chiefs today called for urgent action to ensure a post office threatened with closure is not lost.

Supermarket giant Morrisons has said it will not run the outlet at its store in Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, but is quite happy for a new tenant to be found to keep it going or for it to move to alternative premises.

The post office will shut in June next year - and Postwatch today said it was pressing for arrangements to keep it to be made as soon as possible.

"The decision by Morrisons is regrettable - this area needs a post office," said Charles Winstanley, chairman of Postwatch East of England.

"Postwatch wants to see a suitable alternative to the current arrangement and as soon as possible.

"What's important now is that Post Office Ltd works to ensure that there is a continuity of service for everyone who needs it. We will be pressing Post Office Ltd to do this.

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"We urge businesses and residents in the area who might consider running a post office to contact Post Office Ltd to discuss the possibility of them doing so."

Nearly 2,000 people have so far signed a protest petition calling for the sub office to be saved.

Town councillors have also joined the battle and have written to both Post Office Ltd, and also to Suffolk Coastal District Council to ask if it can use its economic development powers to encourage someone to take up the business.

The instore post office at Morrisons serves an area of 9,000 people and all the firms based at Felixstowe port, the largest container terminal in Britain.

Morrisons 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 post office.

Roger Owen, property director for Morrison Supermarkets plc, said: "We have given Post Office Ltd ample notice for them to find alternative users and operators for this facility.

"If that facility is to remain in the store on a lease basis then I am more than happy with that, but the company will not be reconsidering its position in terms of continuing to operate this facility ourselves. That is not our line of business."

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said all possibilities were being explored to find a convenient location for a replacement post office and appealed for anyone who would like to run a sub office in the area to ring the company's recruitment agency on 0845 601 6260.

The petition can be signed at the Basics Charity Shop next to Safeway.

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.postwatch.co.uk/east

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