Public meeting to be held over future of Diss Post Office

Diss Post Office in the Market Place.
Picture: Angela Sharpe

Diss Post Office in the Market Place. Picture: Angela Sharpe - Credit: Archant � 2009

A public meeting is to be held to discuss the future of Diss' Post Office.

The Post Office announced in January that it would be shutting its Chapel Street premises - which it has occupied for more than 60 years - and looking to relocate as a franchise within another shop in the town.

It cited a change in consumer habits and the cost of maintaining town centre premises as the main reason for the move.

But there has been an outcry from residents, with more than 1,000 people signing a petition to save the stand-alone branch.

A public meeting has now been organised for Thursday, May 11 at 6pm at the Diss Youth and Community Centre, where supporters of Diss Post Office will come together express their concern over the potential franchising.

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South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon will attend the meeting at Diss Youth and Community Centre to show his support for the Post Office to remain in its current location.

'The Post Office must understand that Diss Crown Post Office is one of the busiest anywhere and is at the heart of the community,' he said.

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'In such 'relocation' exercises, WH Smith sometimes takes up the franchise but that is unrealistic in Diss, where the Smiths branch is tiny and unsuitable for disabled access.'

Mr Bacon said he plans to meet with parliamentary under-secretary of state for business Margot James to raise his concerns about Diss Post Office with her. It is hoped this will take place before the public meeting.

Mr Bacon's fears are also echoed by others in the town

Brigette Butcher, who has helped organise the petition, said: 'It's not feasible for either McColls or WH Smith to take the Post Office. There simply isn't space and no disabled access.

'We are very fortunate to have this on our doorstep and I just don't understand why the Post Office wants to close a perfectively good business. It's very short-sighted.'

As well as Mr Bacon, other speakers are expected to include Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull and Andy Furey, national officer of the Communication Workers' Union.

The online petition to save Diss Post Office can be found here

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