Post office 'hypocrisy' after closure of branch
A Post Office chief has been accused of hypocrisy following the closure of the Buglawton branch.
It has emerged that the post office counter in the Go Bargain store on Havannah Street had to close for “operational reasons” and a search is now on for an alternative outlet inside another premises.
But the announcement sparked outrage from one concerned Buglawton resident, who contacted the Chronicle.
Pensioners will now have to take up to two buses to pick up their pensions from Hightown Post Office. The town centre branch, located inside the former Bargain Booze on Mill Street, closed almost two years ago.
The chief executive of the Post Office, Nick Read, spoke last week about the Hightown branch being given a We're Stronger Together Award by the Post Office.
He said: “Post Office branches have a vital role to play in supporting their customers and communities, as well as helping small businesses and independent retailers get back on their feet.”
But one Buglawton resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she was struck by the hypocrisy of Mr Read's words.
“Residents of Buglawton have been without their local post office for several months now,” she told the Chronicle.
”I know approaches have been made to local councillors to try to get this sub-post office re-opened. Each time we have been told it will be open again in a couple of weeks. That couple of weeks has just never materialised.”
She added: “Mr Read says that he has heard of many inspiring stories of postmasters going the extra mile to help out, so I would suggest the Post Office itself goes that extra mile and reinstates Buglawton sub-post office.”
There is still no confirmation of any branch opening up in Congleton, although on the back of the closure in Buglawton, the Post Office said it was “seeking applicants to set up brand new post offices in this area”.
Speaking to the Chronicle when the store was first closed “temporarily” in March, 80-year-old Buglawton resident Keith Austin, described the closure as a “nightmare situation” for pensioners.
He said: “The thing about Congleton is they've not got any post offices in town. I know that a lot of people come here to collect their pension so I don't know what they're going to do. It's a nightmare situation for them.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “The post office at Buglawton had to close for operational reasons. We understand how important a post office is to a community and we are committed to providing a post office in the area.
“Any retailer interested in incorporating a post office in their premises should email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0333 345 5560.”