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‘We were working until the 11th hour’ - Post Office insists it tried everything to stop branch closure

PUBLISHED: 21:44 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 21:44 28 January 2020

Martin's, the Miller's Walk newagents and post office which has closed. Photo: Matthew Farmer

Martin's, the Miller's Walk newagents and post office which has closed. Photo: Matthew Farmer

Archant

The Post Office has insisted it did everything it could to keep a town’s permanent branch in place, despite receiving two years notice it was likely to close.

Fakenham has been without a post office since Monday, January 20, after the closure of Martin's newsagents in Millers Walk.

At an extraordinary meeting of Fakenham Town Council on Tuesday night, Post Office external affairs manager Owain Mumford said that legal barriers were in the way of a new permanent post office being found.

However, Mr Mumford said no details could be shared about what that meant.

When asked when a permanent solution would be offered, Mr Mumford said: "In terms of time frame I don't want to raise expectations and with these types of things, it could take some time."

Mr Mumford said the Post Office was given two years notice by McColl's ahead of the newsagents closure.

He said: "Our team has worked tirelessly to reach a resolution.

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"We were working up until the 11th hour to get a new postmaster into the McColl's site and to keep it running.

"We explored every avenue in keeping the post office opened, we even looked at running the post office at a loss to keep the service going."

He added: "These aren't the answers you want to hear and I am sorry I cannot give you the answers you want to hear. It was never our intention to close the post office."

A weekly mobile van service will visit the town every Thursday on the Market Square between 1pm and 4pm. The first visit took place on January 23.

Mr Mumford said once legal issues were resolved he hoped they could move forward, and confirmed they were talking to the district council about a post office on wheels for five days a week.

He said a temporary post office could appear "very quickly", and could be in the Konnect building by Fakenham community centre.


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