Talks over return of pop-up post office
THE pop-up post office could return to the Wells Bus Station waiting room while the search starts again for a business in the city willing to accommodate a post office.
Wells City Council is talking to the relevant parties about bringing back the pop-up post office following the news that the post office in Natural Pets of Wells in Queen Street is to close on July 1.
Pet shop owners Nigel and Heather Derrick took on the post office last September, but Heather has now been forced to resign as Postmaster due to ill health.
The pet shop will remain open.
Heather said: “It is with a very genuine apology to all our post office customers that I have to advise that the post office counter in the shop will close on July 1, 2022. Unfortunately, I have ongoing health problems and am beyond disappointed to find that I have no option other than to resign from my role and retire from the business.
“As Sub Postmaster, my duties include being responsible for running the branch with all the administrative duties required, in addition to serving on the counter.
“As with any small business there are long working hours, and I took on the role completely aware of this, which was never a problem when I was able to cover the role myself. However, unfortunately, for a small business like ours, even with the post office remuneration included, it is just not financially possible for us to continue covering the cost of employing the additional staff needed to serve on the post office counters plus someone to cover all the Sub Postmaster duties with me having to retire.
“The Post Office have been very supportive and understanding about this happening, which I greatly appreciate, and I know they are busy making every effort to find a new location and Postmaster for the post office in Wells.
“Although there may be a little bit of disruption and muddle on the shop floor while the post office counters are removed, the pet shop will continue to run fine, just as before, but without me. My husband Nigel and our manager Sam will be ably assisted by the usual friendly and familiar faces of Jane, Zac and Yvonne who will all be happy to see everyone.”
Post Office Ltd is advertising for a retailer to incorporate a Post Office Local into their existing or proposed business. The advert gives a closing date of November 4, 2022, although it says the advert may close early if sufficient interest is registered.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “The Postmaster for Wells has resigned and the branch is due to close at its current location inside Natural Pets of Wells on July 1.
“We know how important a post office is to a community and we are working hard to maintain service with a temporary solution whilst we continue to look for a permanent solution.
“The vacancy is advertised on www.runapostoffice.co.uk.”
Wells Post Office in Market Place closed in July 2020. A proposed move to Peacocks in High Street failed to materialise, and a pop-up post office was eventually installed in the bus station waiting room as a temporary measure from January last year until the post office opened in Natural Pets of Wells eight months later.
• Picture: Nigel and Heather Derrick pictured with their team when the post office opened in Natural Pets of Wells last year