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Post Office closure slammed as ‘unthinkable’

PUBLISHED: 19:08 26 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:45 28 May 2018

Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015

A councillor has condemned the closure of a town’s Post Office as “unthinkable” after residents received a letter stating the store would shut down temporarily.

Watton Town and Breckland district councillor Keith Gilbert. Picture: Ian Burt Watton Town and Breckland district councillor Keith Gilbert. Picture: Ian Burt

However the letter, seen by the Eastern Daily Press, did not indicate why Watton’s Post Office was closing nor did it give any idea of when the community could expect services to resume.

Keith Gilbert, who has represented the town for 25 years as a Breckland district councillor, hopes the issue can be resolved quickly.

He said: “It is unthinkable that Watton could be without a Post Office.

“There are seven and a half thousand residents living here who use the service so I am very hopeful that somebody else could take up the service.”

As Mr Gilbert understands it, the current owner of Watton’s Post Office in the High Street will still own the property and use it for his accountancy firm which is based in London.

Residents received a letter announcing the “temporary closure” of the Post Office which will begin on Thursday May 31 and suggests the alternative branches of Thompson and Shipdham, which are three miles and five and a half miles away respectively.

The letter, from Post Office’s area network change manager Matthew Hatfull, also states: “I would like to apologise for the inconvenience the temporary closure may cause and we hope our customers will continue to use the Post Office.”

Mr Gilbert said: “I had had wind of this, but now we have confirmation.

It is not good for a town the size of Watton to be without a Post Office even for a short time.”

The Post Office has changed hands a number of times over the years and closed unexpectedly for eight days two years ago for “operational reasons”.

A Post Office spokesman said: “Watton Post Office will be temporarily closed from Thursday 31 May at 5.30pm as the premises, which we do not own, will no longer be available for Post Office use.

“We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure, which is happening with short notice.

“We are committed to providing a Post Office in Watton. We are working hard to try to find a solution as quickly as possible.”

The vacancy is advertised online at runapostoffice.co.uk

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