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Questions asked on why vital post office has closed

PUBLISHED: 18:30 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:01 04 June 2018

Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2015

A Norfolk MP is calling on the Post Office to explain why a branch has had to temporarily close.

George Freeman MP. Picture: Ian BurtGeorge Freeman MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Watton Post Office closed its doors on May 31, but there has been no indication as to why it has closed and when the community could expect services to resume.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman has sent a letter to the Post Office in which he states the temporary closure has been greeted with “much concern in the town”.

The letter said: “Post Offices provide a crucial service to many local communities across the country and are depended upon by a wide variety of businesses and people, especially the elderly and vulnerable.

“This is especially the case in rural areas such as my constituency of Mid Norfolk.

Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.Watton Post Office on the High Street. Picture: Matthew Usher.

“Having been contacted by a number of local constituents, I know that there is widespread concern as to how long this branch will remain closed.

“Watton has a population of over 7,000 (growing fast) with many elderly residents without the use of vehicle, and is situated in a highly rural location.”

Residents received a letter announcing the temporary closure of the branch and suggesting the alternative branches of Thompson and Shipdham, which are three miles and five and a half miles away respectively.

Mr Freeman said he did not believe they offered a “sufficient medium or long term alternative” to a branch in Watton.

The letter continued: “Given the urgency of this matter, I would appreciate your swift response to outline please:

“The reasons why exactly the current Post Office branch is having to close.

“What efforts are being pursued to return Post Office services to the town as soon as possible.

“And the predicted timescale of this temporary closure.”

He ended the letter with stating he would like to meet with the Post Office area network change manager and his staff to discuss the situation further.

A Post Office spokesman said the organisation was “committed” to providing a Post Office in Watton and is advertising for a person or businesses to take on the branch.

The spokesman added: “We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure,

The vacancy is advertised online.

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