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Saturday November 16 2019

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In Full . . .

Closed for Christmas

Posted on October 29 2019 at 12:28:32

post office

Alvechurch Post Office was to close its doors on Monday October 28, villagers were told at the monthly parish council meeting.

“The post office will close two weeks today at 5.30pm,” said Richard Hall, regional external affairs manager for Post Office Ltd.

As The Village went to press, there was no sign that this date would change, despite calls for a delay until after Christmas at least.

Around 30 concerned villagers attended the Alvechurch Parish Council meeting to hear Mr Hall say: “I will go back and ask my colleagues to see if we can have a conversation with the owners of the building, but I am of the belief that the end of the month is the deadline.

“Those premises are now being redeveloped and we have been given notice to be out at the end of this month.”

He said the post office had been run on a temporary basis for a number of years while they waited for the operation to be taken over by the new Simply Fresh store planned for the premises next door in the former bakery building.

Mr Hall said that the delay was due to Simply Fresh’s planning applications being turned down.

He added: “There is going to be a break in service and I apologise for that.”

Coun Andy Humphries said: “If it does close, the run-up to Christmas is the worst time to close a post office.

“I would like to push for a meeting with the new owners and impress on them the impact of a November closure. No one wants closure at all, but a January closure would give us some chance to organise something.”

One resident said: “If the post office goes there is nowhere for people to do banking and other services. There are a lot of elderly people who need those services.”

And when another suggested a shuttle bus to Barnt Green post office, she said: “What would happen to the disabled people who can’t go by a bus? Will they be left high and dry?”

A resident of Bear Hill, which would be most affected if a Simply Fresh store was given planning permission, said: “This meeting doesn’t seem to recognise the level of opposition there was to the Simply Fresh application, with the traffic problems, deliveries and parking.”

Parish chairman Marc Worrall said: “There is a strong feeling in our parish and in our village. This is important to a lot of people and we will all be very disappointed if we cannot find the right answer.”

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