Village sub-post offices will lose local business while Ely’s post office is in temporary accommodation
PUBLISHED: 12:11 30 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:25 30 December 2013
Whilst the debate about Ely’s temporary main post office rages, has anyone thought of the effect it is having on local sub-post offices?
Although not a Witchfordian I do, nonetheless, visit the office there quite regularly and am used to a warm, friendly and courteous service.
Now, it seems, that the ineptness of the Post Office authorities in providing a decent temporary service in town is leading to many people going to Witchford or even Stretham to do their postal business.
The knock-on effect of this is that some village locals are facing a long wait and are, in some cases, going into town to do their general shopping.
Village post offices rely on this local business to survive and they are suffering unfairly especially at this busy time.
It’s about time Post Office managers started earning their high salaries and provided a decent alternative instead of the temporary local shack which looks more like a mobile breast screening clinic than a post office.
Anybody with half a brain would have foreseen the problem and acquired premises long ago but that would have been too much to expect wouldn’t it?
We have now heard all the excuses from the Post Office about search for a new premises in Ely.
We, the customers, are not prepared to carry on queuing in the rain in a car park when there are empty shops in the city centre that can accommodate the post office.
High Street, Market Square, Central Hall and Market Street would all be ideal as they are large areas central to shoppers with easy access.
But this is obviously too easy for the planners of the Post Office Regional Network.
It has taken a year to get to the stage of getting a portable building set up in a car park. Maybe by the end of 2014 we might see a post office up and running in a permanent building.
The Post Office should, as we say, get its finger out and sort it out.
The staff in the temporary post office are top notch. But the directors, if they were on my staff in the construction industry, would be looking for another job.
When the post office closed in Ely High Street on a Wednesday, there were no post office facilities within the city until the portable building was opened in the Paradise car park the following Monday.
Such a breach of the Post Office’s contract should result in a heavy financial penalty.
Sharing premises with a retailer has already been seen not to work and the temporary arrangements (not mentioned in the consultation) have had difficulties, some unforeseen.
Since the post office arrived on Paradise, their computers have crashed on at least two occasions, making the office unable to conduct any business for several hours. Why had no priority on broadband been agreed with BT?
Statements indicate that the Post Office still has no long-term answer but it is “working extremely hard to find a permanent solution.”
I worked extremely hard, walking to the centre of Ely, and immediately located vacant premises on the corner of Dolphin Lane, on the Market Place and at the top of Forehill. Has no-one from Post Office management noticed these?
CLLR JEREMY FRIEND-SMITH
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