August 27 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 9, 2014
A village Post Office could re-open in a new location, almost two years after closing its doors.
Stradbroke has been without a Post Office since July 2012, and customers are currently forced to travel two miles to their nearest branch in Horham.
A proposal to reopen services in the village’s library have now been submitted, following talks with the Stradbroke Courthouse and Library Trust (SCALT).
If given permission, this could open within a matter of months, and would offer the same services that the old Post Office used to offer, apart from car tax. Stradbroke parish councillor and SCALT vice chairman and secretary, James Hargrave, said that, following meetings with the Post Office, including a feasibility study, Suffolk Libraries had now submitted an application to open a “post office local” counter alongside the library service.
“When things are shutting down it creates an impression that things aren’t good but hopefully this will change that,” he said.
“We think it would be the first library in the UK which runs a Post Office itself.
“We’ve found a few others which are in the same building but we’ve not found one which runs it.
“This will make such a difference – there are fewer people in Stradbroke now because they’re not coming in and for those people who can’t travel it will make a big difference with things like getting cash out and just sending a parcel.”
He added that there were also plans for a cafe in the building which could be open at the same time as the library and Post Office, and that a studio for Radio Stradbroke and space for history archives and study could go upstairs.
The Post Office would pay for certain changes required to the library building to accommodate it in its new home, while Suffolk Libraries would pay to accommodate a new counter.
Library staff would run the Post Office, with the possibility of two staff on duty during busy times.
A decision on the proposal is expected in a matter of weeks, and if given the formal go-ahead by the Post Office it could be open by March.
A Norwich-based business which started as a “man with a van” operation is eyeing further expansion after seeing its predicted turnover increase from £6,000 to £340,000 within five years.