Will Post Office in Ely High Street Be Able To Cope Over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 16:06 02 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

AS Christmas approaches, I wonder whether the Post Office in Ely High Street will be able to cope at this busy time. Next year they will be on their own. When the decision to close the sub-post office in St John s Road was taken, time was allowed for impr

AS Christmas approaches, I wonder whether the Post Office in Ely High Street will be able to cope at this busy time. Next year they will be on their own. When the decision to close the sub-post office in St John's Road was taken, time was allowed for improvements in the main post office. If these improvements are approved, the closure will be implemented in January 2009. But who decides enough improvement has been made?

When I went into the High Street office a few days ago, minor changes had indeed been made, and it appeared a little more like a post office. However, the main problems are unchanged: although there are (I think) five counter positions, they are usually not fully manned and it is difficult to see where/when to go forward, as there is no electronic warning system. Most banks and some post offices now call customers to the next vacant position in this way, and such an arrangement is very necessary here.

The other day, there were 40 people waiting to be served, so my informant did not stay. We will be watching carefully during the approach to Christmas, to monitor the situation at this busy time. I have no criticism of the post office staff, who are always helpful and courteous, but next year there will be no relief at St John's Road. Can that single cramped post office in the High Street realistically hope to provide for the city of Ely and the village communities beyond Little Downham?

Recently, the Government awarded a substantial contract for benefit payments to the post office, and it was announced that 3,000 future closures would therefore be cancelled. If a reprieve for St John's Road is now possible, many people in and around Ely will be celebrating.

JEREMY FRIEND-SMITH

Liberal Democrat District Councillor

Ely South

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