FEARS that taking too long to make a decision over the location of Westbury’s post office may force its complete closure have been allayed.
Claims that Westbury’s post office would remain permanently closed if not re-opened by May have been dismissed by a Post Office spokesperson.
The concerns were raised at a meeting recently held to debate the town council’s response to the current Post Office public consultation regarding the location of Westbury’s main branch.
This would have been a crucial point regarding the town council’s response. Wiltshire Council is asking for a three month extension to investigate further town centre locations of the new branch, but many town councillors feared that leaving it too long may leave the town with no central post office branch at all.
A Post Office spokesperson said that the 12 month review was an old policy which had applied to rural post offices before new government guidelines were introduced.
He said “If any post office is closed for a really long time we would review whether it was needed and in urban areas the answer is usually yes. This thing about the 12 month review was something that happened before the government closure programme, so you haven’t got to worry about it any more.”
This claim would have put pressure on Wiltshire Council’s call for a three month extension to the consultation, while further investigations were made into a possible town centre location. Currently the Post Office is looking to re-open the old Edward Street branch in the Co-op and supporters of the scheme believe it is the only viable solution.
Following a two-hour debate, Westbury Town Council decided to make their final decision at a second ‘extraordinary’ meeting to be held on Monday 17th August. The meeting will start after 8.00pm, following the scheduled meeting of the highways, planning and development committee.
Anyone wishing to comment on the proposals to re-open the service at Kingfisher Drive can write to Post Office Limited, c/o National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, WATFORD, WD18 8ZW or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing date of 20th August 2009.
At the end of the consultation period, any feedback received from customers and local representatives will be reviewed before a final decision on this proposal is confirmed. If the decision is taken to proceed with the proposal, and subject to Co-operative Retail Services Ltd board approval, Post Office Ltd expect the new service to open during September 2009.
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