Kirkby Post Office delay is ‘making life difficult’

NMAC11-1617-1''Kirkby Post Office
NMAC11-1617-1''Kirkby Post Office

KIRKBY residents have hit out at the lack of Post Office services in the town centre a month after the Co-op branch closed to make way for the planned Morrisons store.

Residents lost the use of the town centre branch of the chain on 7th May but were told the Post Office was working with Ashfield District Council to find a new permanent solution, and hoped to minimise disruption.

Now there are fears it could be months before a new branch is finally in place.

Kirkby Pensioner Catherine Houghton said the lack of facilities in the town was making life difficult for the elderly.

“I have been told I should set up a bank account account to receive my pension - but I don’t want to do that and my friends feel the same way.

“The Post Office are not thinking of the people who find it difficult to get around. It’s all very well saying get in the car or go on the bus - but lots of us can’t.”

Shopkeeper Andrew Martin said customers were complaining daily about the lack of a Post Office.

“It seems like everyone is struggling - you don’t realise what you had until it is gone. The other branches are too far away for most people to get to easily.”

And Andrew Chipperfield-Taylor, also of Kirkby, said Post Office bosses and local elected members should be held to account for the delay.

“I think questions need to be asked about why more was not done by Ashfield District Council and the Post Office prior to the branch closing.

“The Post Office bosses, the local councillors and the MP should have all been pulling together to make sure (the delay) did not happen.”

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has said she has been in talks with Post Office bosses to resolve the situation.

Meanwhile, a stop gap solution is being set up in the precinct car park. The Post Office is currently setting up a portable cabin which would provide services until a permanent solution was found.

A spokesman said the temporary solution was their current priority.

“The structure is now in place but there are still a few technical issues which need resolving, which means it will be around two weeks before the service is up and running.”

The spokesman said talks with parties who have indicated they want to run the the franchise were ongoing.