Where will Stowmarket Post Office go?
Fears are growing for the future of Stowmarket Post Office.
It follows news that the One Stop store in Ipswich Street, in which it is based, is to close, and the postmaster has resigned.
Rumours have been circulating in the town since June that the town centre postal service could be in jeopardy.
Now residents, business leaders and councillors are preparing to fight for a Post Office to remain in the town centre and have called in MP Jo Churchill for support.
“It is vitally important to retain a Post Office in the centre of town,” said town council clerk David Blackburn.
“We understand that One Stop is leaving its current premises and there is concern that any new tenant may not wish to have a Post Office within their shop.
“Uncertainty, caused by a lack of information and the apparent lack of progress, is causing a great deal of concern within the town.”
Convenience store chain One Stop Stores, based in Walsall, is a subsidiary of Tesco, and operates the Post Office service on a franchise basis.
A spokesperson for One Stop said it has been a ‘difficult decision’ to close the store.
Allan Scott, chair of Stowmarket and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “For many of us a local Post Office is still a necessity, and it’s disturbing to think the town could lose such a key asset,”
MP Mrs Churchill said: “I remain in regular communication with the Post Office and continue to push to ensure its continued presence in the centre of Stowmarket.
“I understand how important it is to residents. Additionally, in light of the closure of many rural Post Offices, it also provides a vital service for those in surrounding villages.”
A spokesperson for the Post Office said: “The postmaster for Stowmarket has resigned, the vacancy has been advertised and there is an interested applicant.
“We are committed to maintaining a Post Office in Stowmarket.
“Any re-location would be subject to public consultation.”