A deal has been struck to provide extended post office services for villagers – while a number of condemned branches have closed without warning.
The Golden Green Priory Store in Worthen will host a Londis mini-mart and post office services that will take over from the village branch, which is due to close in October.
Villagers have campaigned vigorously to preserve services in the area, and this is the latest success for the Chronicle’s The Last Post? campaign following the preservation of Greenfields Post Office. But branches at All Stretton, Harmer Hill and Coton were closed this week by Royal Mail officials.
And Ditherington Post Office will shut on Monday with a crunch meeting between county council officials and town MP Daniel Kawczynski set to be held the following day to determine its future.
The new service in Worthen had been expected to be set up at the village hall. But following opposition, district councillor Philip Morgan has offered to run the service from his store.
Councillor Morgan said: “We will have a partnered service with the postmaster of Pontesbury Post Office. We will offer the service and he will do the paperwork and provide back up. From our point of view we are able to keep the post office in the village, rather than in a van in the village hall car park.”
But post office branches in Harmer Hill and All Stretton closed their doors for the last time yesterday, Wednesday, while the Coton branch closed on Tuesday as part of a national cull of branches.
And a last-ditch attempt to find £20,000 a year to run Ditherington Post office on Mount Pleasant Road hangs in the balance, with county councillor Alan Mosley admitting the future of the branch is now in serious jeopardy.
Richard Hall, senior external relations manager for Royal Mail, confirmed the Ditherington branch would close on Monday.