Rethink urged on Gislingham Post Office closure

Wednesday, 4 March, 2009

MP David Ruffley has called for a rethink on plans to close the post office at Gislingham. And he has voiced strong opposition in his response to Post Office Ltd to the proposed alternative service that it is looking to provide.

The company is consulting local people on the proposal to park a mobile vehicle in Westview Gardens, Gislingham, for two hours a day from Monday to Friday. This would replace the post office run by Geoff Laurence at the village stores.

Westview Gardens is a cul-de-sac with limited parking, and villagers are worried about extra traffic and noise.

There are also concerns as to whether an outreach service could cope with demand, Gislingham Post Office having experienced a 10pc increase in the volume of transactions since the closure of other branches in the area.

Mr Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: "The present proposal makes no sense at all and will cause gross disruption to my constituents who live there. My constituents in Westview Gardens currently enjoy peace and quiet. This will be shattered for more than two hours every weekday if this mobile post office service is located in their cul-de-sac."

Gislingham was scheduled for closure during a national shake-up of the post office network last year but will continue operating until an outreach service is in place. Mr Ruffley added: "While I know there is no option in the present consultation to keep the highly successful Gislingham Post Office open, I really do think Post Office Ltd must now revisit the decision to close it."

The company said yesterday that consultations on the nature of the alternative service at Gislingham ended this week and it was now looking at the feedback.

"The consultation was not on whether the post office at Gislingham will close - this decision has already been made - but on the timings and location of the outreach service," said a statement.