Town still lacking a "proper" post office after almost two years

Inside the new pop up Post Office in Fakenham. Picture: Post Office

Marie Challis who lives in Fakenham is unhappy with the current facilities offered at the pop-up post office. - Credit: Archant

A woman has blasted the apparent lack of progress in restoring a permanent post office to Fakenham. 

Marie Challis, who lives in the town, has been fighting for the return of a "proper" postal facility since the closure of Martin's in Miller's Walk. 

The newsagent shut its doors back in January 2020, and was replaced by a pop-up service in the former Thomas Cook building the following month. 

The post office at Martin's on Miller's Walk, Fakenham, closed on January 20. Picture: Archant

The former post office at Martin's on Miller's Walk, Fakenham - Credit: Archant

But Mrs Challis, who has been in regular contact with MP for the area, Jerome Mayhew, is among those who believe the alternative provision is simply not up to scratch. 

She raised concerns again following a trip earlier this month. 

The Post Office says it is continuing to engage with retailers in the area who could potentially host a new branch. 

“It is all very crude and basic,” said Mrs Challis. 

The que for the Post office in Millers Walk at Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillan

The que for the Post office in Millers Walk at Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillan - Credit: Archant

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"There is a red box for post with no lid on it - why can’t they make it a little more workable. When I visited they ran out of second-class stamps.

“It is totally unacceptable. We have five banks in Fakenham, so why is the post office not treated with more respect?"

Apologising for recent deficiencies, a Post Office spokesman said: "We’re currently offering services from a pop-up counter in Fakenham, which allows customers to do their everyday banking and send letters, cards and parcels.

"We apologise if some products, such as stamps, run out. We know how much the local community would like to see a post office return, and we continue to engage with potential retailers who could host a branch."

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew slams potential closure of Fakenham post office. Picture: JEROME MEYHEW

Broadland MP Jerome Mayhew slams potential closure of Fakenham post office. Picture: JEROME MEYHEW - Credit: Archant

Mr Mayhew said he had repeatedly been in touch with the post office, and has even raised the issue with the government. 

He added: "Since being elected, I have argued the case with the Post Office management and raised it directly with the chief executive of the Post Office, as well as the relevant government minister, to try to get them to commit to providing the service we deserve."

The MP for Broadland claimed he had submitted suggestions for alternative sites. In the event of there being no interest from businesses in hosting a permanent post office, he argued that the search for a standalone facility should not be abandoned.