Ruffley calls on Post Office Ltd to admit defeat and allow Gislingham Post Office to stay open

Monday, 20 October, 2008

David Ruffley has written to Laura Tarling, Network Development Manager at Post Office Ltd, urging her to end the uncertainty over the future of post office services in Gislingham. The text of David's letter is copied below.

Following Post Office Ltd's Network Change Programme consultation which ended in June, the decision was made to close Gislingham Post Office and replace it with an outreach service point in the village.

But it has now become clear that Post Office Ltd have failed to find a suitable venue in Gislingham to host an outreach service.

In the meantime, Gislingham Post Office, which is situated within the village shop, has remained open but the current situation has effectively left postmaster and shopkeeper, Geoff Lawrence, in limbo. He has not heard from the national Post Office for three months and does not know if and when he will have to close his post office.

David said:

'I am appalled at the way Geoff Lawrence, the excellent Gislingham Postmaster, has been treated by the national Post Office. How can anyone run a business when they don't know from one week to the next if they will be forced to close? When customers ask him what on earth is going on he is unable to give them an answer.

'From what I have been told by village residents, no one in the village wants to host a post office. Even the Post Office admitted to me that it was proving 'problematic'. It is time to end this uncertainty.

'I call on the Post Office nationally to admit defeat and let Gislingham Post Office stay open.

'Gislingham has grown substantially over the last five years- by more than 40%- and it is expected to grow by a similar amount over the next five years. A full time post office will be needed more than ever.'