Norfolk post office could re-open
Mary HamiltonA Norfolk village whose post office closed without warning could see a new office created in the village hall. Smallburgh Post Office near North Walsham closed on August 14 following an audit - and after six weeks without contact from the Post Office, parish councillors will now be meeting with officials on Friday.Mary Hamilton
A Norfolk village whose post office closed without warning could see a new office created in the village hall.
Smallburgh Post Office near North Walsham closed on August 14 following an audit - and after six weeks without contact from the Post Office, parish councillors will now be meeting with officials on Friday.
Council clerk Derek Ely wrote a letter of complaint to the company over the long silence and lack of response, and yesterday officials got in touch to try to find a solution to the closure.
Mr Ely, who is clerk for Dilham, Sloley and Smallburgh - all villages served by the closed office - said the meeting will assess whether the village hall would be able to house a new office, and whether a subpostmaster could be found to run it.
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'Smallburgh village hall is the only alternative for the post office,' said Mr Ely. 'There's only one other suitable place and the owner says he doesn't want to do it.
'Even once we have somewhere for it they will have to find someone to run it. I imagine they will have to get someone from North Walsham or Stalham to do it.'
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Dilham parish council chairman Stephanie Rowland said the sudden closure was badly impacting the village.
'There are two places that are the heart of the village - the post office and the pub,' she said. 'One minute the office was open, the next it was completely closed - without even a sign explaining why.
'There are an awful lot of people in Dilham who haven't got transport and have nowhere to go. There are a lot of retired people that go to the post office for pensions and to take cash out.'
She added that many villagers had been worried and angered by the lack of information from the Post Office, who have offered no explanation for the six-week delay. 'It's a long time to keep us in the dark about what's going on,' she said. 'People wouldn't be so annoyed if we had had some kind of correspondence.'
A Post Office spokesperson said: 'We are meeting the parish council on Friday.
'It is not a situation that we wanted to happen, and hopefully things will move on quickly. It is not always easy to find an immediate solution, but our field team are on the case.'