Anger at plans to move post office into Bargain Booze

READY FOR THE AXE -- Stapleford post offices current, outdated base on Church Street.

READY FOR THE AXE -- Stapleford post offices current, outdated base on Church Street.

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Angry residents are refusing to raise their glasses to plans to move Stapleford’s main post office into the premises of an off-licence.

The Post Office wants to close its grotty, outdated building on Church Street and switch its services to within the Bargain Booze store on Derby Road. It’s all part of a nationwide modernisation scheme that will result in longer opening times to 10 pm.

But within hours of a consultation period starting, members of the Stapleford Community Group were voicing their disapproval in an online forum.

“A Bargain Booze shop is not an appropriate place for a community facility,” said Jo Dunn. “Yes, the current post office is a disgrace with poor access, an old-fashioned counter and a general air of gloom. But I am not convinced that a late-night off-licence is a wise or safe place for people to collect benefits and pensions, and often large sums of cash.”

Ann Ruffin agreed, saying: “I’m not at all sure the two business are compatible. Everyone who needed to use the post office would be forced around alcohol.”

And both Mandy Needham and Sharon Bosworth reckoned such “a small and cramped store” would cause accessibility problems, especially for mums with pushchairs and disabled people in wheelchairs.”

The residents’ views were backed by Coun Richard MacRae, who said he was pleased the post office could be moving to a more central location, offering good parking and opening seven days a week, but described the choice of venue as “questionable”. Coun MacRae urged people to join in the consultation, which runs until November 29 at www.postofficeviews.co.uk.

The Post Office’s regional manager Suzanne Richardson said: ““We are confident this vibrant, new-style office at the heart of the community will meet customer needs, and secure services for the future.”