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Whitstable business leaders fear for town's Post Office following concerns with franchise partner Budgens

Business leaders have expressed fears Whitstable could be left without a post office following concerns about its franchise partner.

Concerns have grown over the suitability of Budgens to host the service because of low stock levels and a sudden closure over the weekend.

The supermarket's parent company Musgrave says an announcement regarding its future is expected to be made tomorrow.

The Budgens supermarket in Whitstable High Street will become a Sainsbury's

Post Office bosses announced they were planning to move from Gladstone Road to the High Street last month.

A six-week consultation was launched until Wednesday, November 12 before a possible move in the new year.

The post office will leave Gladstone Road on Wednesday, April 29

But Whitstable Chamber of Commerce president Brian Hitcham says he worries the town could be left without a post office.

He said: "There have been strong public concerns about Whitstable's post office service moving to Budgens since the outset.

"Unfortunately, these concerns are now proving to be valid.

Brian Hitcham, president of the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce, has seen major changes in his many years in the town

"Stock in the Invicta Budgens store is declining: the shelves are at least half empty and no fresh deliveries seem to have been received for days.

"There are no cigarettes, no milk and the Lottery Terminal is 'Not Working'.

"Staff numbers have declined rapidly and over the last few weeks, opening times have become erratic and unpredictable, with the store only open last Sunday from 10am - 1pm."

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