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Upwell voices post protest

Upwell Post Office
Upwell Post Office

Residents called for an urgent rethink on the relocation of Upwell Post Office at a packed public meeting on Friday.

More than 150 people attended the meeting at the village hall to voice their concerns over plans to move the post office into the nearby G&B Superstore.

The event, chaired by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, was organised after she was handed a 400-signature petition against the proposals.

Post Office bosses say the move would be part of its “modernisation and investment” programme, and would see an extra 70 hours of opening time with services available seven days a week.

But residents are concerned about parking issues at the proposed store, lack of privacy as the new facility would be open planned, and loss of services such as Transcash/Girobank business banking and reduced personal banking facilities, including no longer being able to pay in cheques.

As a result of the meeting, Ms Truss will write to the Chief Executive of the Post Office urging a rethink on the proposal.

She said: “The general view here is: ‘If it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it’.

“I personally can’t see any reason for the decision to be made while there is such a high level of concern.”

Upwell Parish Council chairman Prue Lester now hopes the Post Office will listen and give the village more time to explore other options.

She said the village’s old Post Office, almost next door to the current one, has been offered as an alternative premises but much work would be needed before it would be ready.

She said yesterday: “More time is needed for alternatives to be looked into. An alternative premises has been offered but it depends on how deteremined the Post Office is to push this proposal through regardless.”

She also said the agency which supplied the current temporary postmistress has been doing so for over two years and is happy to keep the current situation going, so there was “no great urgency” to implement the existing proposal.

Will Russell, regional Post Office manager, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in the Upwell area and we are confident this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

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