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Villagers' bid to improve post service

PUBLISHED: 09:26 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:50 01 August 2010

VILLAGERS have vowed to work together to push for improvements to the Post Office's outreach services which have replaced closed branches in rural north Suffolk.

VILLAGERS have vowed to work together to push for improvements to the Post Office's outreach services which have replaced closed branches in rural north Suffolk.

The Post Office closed its outlets in Wangford and Wrentham earlier this year as part of its controversial programme to shut 2,500 outlets nationwide.

Outreach services were then opened in both villages to provide part-time services for people living in the surrounding rural areas.

But now councillors and the local MP have written to the Post Office to complain about the new service, which they say is not always available at advertised times.

Annie Rous, clerk at Frostenden, Uggeshall and South Cove Parish Council, said that the council had written to the Post Office to ask for something to be done.

She said: "Every time the parish council has met since the outreach services started, councillors have been getting increasingly disgruntled about it.

"Now we really feel we have a case to put to the Post Office.

"Someone comes from the main post office in Lowestoft to staff these outreach services, but there is no one to cover that one person's holiday or sickness.

"People have found they were going along only to find that there was nobody there and it was shut."

Waveney district councillor John Goldsmith said that residents in Wrentham had complained to him about the outreach service not always being available on the designated days.

He said: "A lot of people are being inconvenienced. If people live near the post office then that's fine, but if they travel a long way in bad weather and find that it's closed, that's just not on."

Last week members of Waveney District Council agreed to send a letter of complaint to the Post Office, and letters have also been sent from Wangford and Wrentham parish councils.

A Post Office spokesman said: "We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused - there have been two recorded times when service did not go ahead. The break in service last week was due to technical problems and was beyond the control of staff; however this has been rectified.

"Customers can be assured that we continue to monitor the situation to ensure best possible service to customers."

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