Lack of action over town’s post office closure branded ‘embarassing’
PUBLISHED: 13:35 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 23 January 2020
A town council’s lack of action over the closure of a post office has been branded “embarrassing” by a councillor.
Fakenham has been without a post office since Monday, January 20, after the closure of Martin's newsagents in Millers Walk.
Speaking on Wednesday after a council meeting on Tuesday night, councillor Jim Rockett said he was not impressed by the authority's response.
Mr Rockett said: "I was embarrassed to be part of the town council last night. I don't think we have dealt with the closure at all.
"As a council, I don't think our response last night was very good. We are there to represent the community robustly in cases like this."
The post office was based in Martin's and closure was revealed last August, when the McColl's Retail Group confirmed the newsagent's lease would not be renewed.
A temporary mobile post office will now visit Fakenham on Thursdays, starting on January 23.
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Speaking on Wednesday after the meeting, mayor Gilly Foortse said: "Final discussions between McColl and the Post Office have taken longer than either party expected.
"Once these issues are resolved then plans can move forward, initially with a pop-up post office with all the services of a post office until permanent arrangements can be made."
But Mr Rockett said he has little confidence in the assurances.
He said: "I don't believe them because the town council was assured weeks ago we would not be left without a post office, and lo and behold we have."
He said it was "ridiculous" that a six day a week service was being replaced by a three-hour mobile service once a week, and urged people to contact their MP.
Mrs Foortse said she agreed the three hour slot was far from acceptable, and said the council is working with the Post Office to extend it.
But she added: "We were told at a meeting, some months ago, by a representative of the Post Office that if such an issue come about a van would be provided in the short term."
A Post Office spokesperson said: "We understand how important a Post Office is to a community and we have been working hard to maintain service in Fakenham with the closure of the shop, where Fakenham Post Office, is based.
"As a temporary measure we are introducing a mobile Post Office service to the town whilst we continue to look for a permanent solution. This service will begin on Thursday, January 23. The mobile service will be based at Market Square between 1pm and 4pm."