THE Post Office hopes it can soon return branches to The Ham and Dilton Marsh.
It says that there are a ‘couple of interested parties’ looking at taking on the branches, although it is not able to give out any more details at this stage.
Dilton Marsh Stores, which had a post office counter, closed last month. The Ham Post Office and Spar Store has been ‘temporarily closed’ for some time. Both had been run as sub post offices – meaning they are run by private business people with a contract with the Post Office, rather than direct employees of the Post Office.
Laura Tarling, senior stakeholder manager at the Post Office, told last week’s meeting of the Westbury Area Board that there is an interested party for each post office, but nothing can be confirmed at this stage.
Both communities have spoken about the value of a local post office and called to reinstate the services.
Post office services include paying out benefits and state pensions.
David Jenkins, Wiltshire Councillor for Westbury North said, “It’s a great loss having The Ham Post Office out of use, especially as there are quite a lot of elderly people in the area.”
Post office closures
Westbury Post Office, at the Co-operative Store in Kingfisher Drive, will be closed for refurbishment from Thursday 24th October – Friday 1st November.
Residents at the meeting of Westbury Area Board raised concerns that Westbury will be without its main post office, as well as The Ham and Dilton Marsh post offices, during this period.
Residents asked why it had not been possible to install a temporary portable cabin post office in Westbury during this period. Laura Tarling responded that it was not standard practice for the Post Office to do this during a short closure period, as setting up temporary post offices is complex with issues like secure broadband connections to consider.
The Post Office will run a free hourly bus service to College Road Post Office in Trowbridge while Westbury Post Office is closed. Bratton Post Office at Hillworth Stores will also be open during this period.
However, residents pointed out that a journey from The Ham to the Co-op, and then on to Trowbridge will prove lengthy and complicated for some residents.