Push to keep a city centre post office
A CONCERTED effort is being made to keep a post office presence in the centre of Wells.
Wells Post Office in Market Place is due to close at the end of September as postmaster Kevin Truman has resigned and nobody has come forward to take it over. A public consultation is now underway on a proposal to relocate it to the Spar store in Tucker Street.
At the same time, the Post Office is in talks about opening a second branch in the city centre – an outcome that would be welcomed by Wells City Council, Wells Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and many of the city’s businesses and residents.
Mr Truman has also offered to keep the Market Place post office open for a month or two beyond the end of September if necessary so that services can be maintained while another branch is readied for opening.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “In addition to the proposal out in consultation for a new branch at Spar in Tucker Street, we are in discussion with an interested party around another branch in the centre of the city. We are working hard to avoid and are not expecting a break in service for customers.”
Wells city councillor Tony Robbins said: “The council is working hard to try and keep a post office presence in the centre of the city.”
If a post office does open in Spar, it would be a main-style branch with a full range of post office services.
There would be a dedicated post office area with a mixture of full-screened and open plan positions, and a post office counter alongside the retail counter offering selected post office services. The main counters would be open Monday to Saturday: 9am-5.30pm. The post office counter alongside the retail counter would be open Monday to Saturday: 7am-11pm; Sunday: 8am-10.30pm.
The Post Office says this would be an extra 63 hour and 30 minutes of post office services a week including all-day Sunday and Saturday afternoon.
A consultation was held in 2016 on the relocation of the branch to the Spar store, but the Post Office decided not to proceed at that time.
It is now inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the move this time around, and is looking for feedback about accessibility, local community issues and anything that it can do to make life easier for customers.
The consultation will close on August 16. Customers can share their views online at postofficeviews.co.uk with the branch code 321504. Submissions can also be made via email to email@example.com, by post to Freepost YOUR COMMENTS, or by telephone 03452 66 01 15 or Textphone 03457 22 33 55.
• Picture: Beverley Truman, the sub-postmistress, at the entrance to Wells Post Office in Market Place