Changes on the way lead to fears over rural Post Office services

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Concerns have been raised about proposed changes for a number of Post Offices in the north of the county.

Cllr John Bailey contacted the Northants Telegraph with his concerns about the proposed move of Finedon Post Office from its current location in Wellingborough Road to the Costcutter premises in Irthlingborough Road.

He said the current premises are very central with adequate on-street parking nearby.

But he feels the proposed re-location is going to make it difficult to access for both motorists and pedestrians.

Cllr Bailey is calling on the Post Office to abandon the re-location plans.

His letter to them states: “I am not aware that there is any public dissatisfaction with the present premises, and I am alarmed and disturbed that you intend to relocate it to the Costcutter premises at 27A Irtlhingborough Road.

“The present premises are very central, and adequate on-street parking is available on the opposite side of the road, whereas the proposed premises are very distant from most of Finedon (they are three-quarters of a mile from the church), and on-street parking is virtually non-existent – what little there is is permanently occupied.

“The new location is therefore going to be difficult to access for both motorists and pedestrians.

“Furthermore, the present premises are right in the middle of what passes for Finedon’s shopping centre, and I fear for the viability of the other businesses there, particularly the pharmacy, if the post office is moved. If you consider the present premises unsuitable, may I suggest you consider other premises in Wellingborough Road, or possibly in High Street, which retains vestiges of retail use.”

A consultation is being carried out on the proposed re-location of Finedon Post Office and people have until Wednesday, December 23, to have their say.

The Northants Telegraph recently reported that the proposed re-location was part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network.

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

It comes as changes are being implemented or looked at for several other Post Offices in the area.

Rushden Post Office is moving from Wilkinson’s in the town centre and opening at Cherry Pharmacy in High Street on December 9.

There have also been changes to the service provided by the Post Office for customers in Wollaston and Bozeat.

A spokesman for the Post Office said: “The current Postmaster for Wollaston is looking to leave under our branch modernisation programme.

“We hope to soon be in a position to begin consultation on plans to relocate this branch. Bozeat Post Office temporarily closed in August and we are currently looking at ways to restore the service.”

The Northants Telegraph was contacted by one reader who said the changes to village branches would mean people would be forced to use the bigger Post Offices in town centres such as Wellingborough and Rushden, which would lead to bigger queues and inconvenience.

As well as these changes, it was announced earlier this year that customers will no longer be able to use the Post Office services offered from the Co-op food store in Alexandra Road, Corby, from January next year.

Notice had been given to the Post Office, and bosses said in May that they were trying to find new premises so they could continue to provide a service to customers in the town.