Thanks for supporting fight for post office

First published in Letters

Sir – Thanks to all who signed petitions or cards, went to consultations, or online, to save post office services in Witney.

I’m disappointed to say it seems we’ve only been partly successful. We’ve secured a full range of services in the town centre, which was our key demand, but no longer a freestanding Crown post office.

Plans to move to WH Smith are set to go ahead.

The good news is that managers promise to provide the full range of services, open all week, including all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Counters will include a private room for confidential matters and four wheelchair-accessible counters. Staff will be dedicated and trained. Existing staff have been offered positions, with no compulsory redundancies (according to management). But how will it fit in a crowded shop?

Since our town petition and feedback complaining about the likely congestion, senior managers have agreed to reduce WH Smith stock, take away freestanding units and put in thinner shelves.

This will increase space and in particular, create a wide aisle from the automatic doors to the post office counters. Chairs will be available for customers.

Managers have agreed extra space for a photograph machine (for passports and driving licences).

There’s no news about the old building (which is not owned by the Post Office. The post office also once lived in what is now Denton’s).

Managers have been told to listen to customers carefully about the new arrangements and to be flexible. If anyone has an experience, good or bad, I would like to hear.

Thanks again to all those who took part in the campaign, including the town and district councils.

It is a blow to lose our dedicated Crown post office but our voices have had some impact on its replacement and we will keep pressure on managers for a good service.

Duncan Enright, Councillor (Labour), Witney East ward, West Oxfordshire District Council

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