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Staplehurst Post Office proposed move from High Street sparks anger

By Alan Smith

Staff at Staplehurst Post Office were shocked when a parcel of leaflets and posters arrived at the store with instructions from Post Office Limited to display them immediately.

The posters were advertising a public consultation on the possible closure of the High Street store and its transfer to new premises in Station Road, at the far end of the village.

“It was the first we had heard of it,“ said Chris Brace, who has worked there behind the counter for the past four years. The staff of four had received no prior warning from either Post Office Ltd, or their boss, sub postmaster Ramesh Sawhney.

The proposed new Post Office site: the Station Newsagents
The proposed new Post Office site: the Station Newsagents

Mr Brace who displayed the posters as ordered, said: “Presumably we will all lose our jobs. We are not in the happiest mood at present.”

The parcel was delivered last Wednesday and the proposal has caused consternation among some villagers.

Helen Rose, who runs Helen’s Coffee House, opposite the existing Post Office, said: “The new location would be 10 minutes’ walk away even for a fit and healthy person, and many of the Post Office customers are elderly.

“It would take it away from the main shopping area of the village.”

Mrs Rose said: “We have just lost our last bank with the closure of the NatWest. This would be another blow to the village.”

Helen and Scott Rose from Helen's Coffee House
Helen and Scott Rose from Helen's Coffee House

Mr Sawhney did not respond to a request for comment.

Before a final decision is taken, there will be a period of public consultation.

Submissions can be made by Freepost YOUR COMMENTS to Post Office Ltd, or via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk.

The deadline for responses is April 28.

*The move is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network, which will also see Marden Post Office move to a new location at the Villages Store in Marden High Street this Friday.

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