Delight at delivery of new Post Office

PUBLISHED: 07:34 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:51 31 May 2010

Yakub Alibhai in the Post Office with Cllr Alan Dean - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Yakub Alibhai in the Post Office with Cllr Alan Dean - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

DELIGHTED people armed with letters, pension books and parcels descended on the new Post Office counter at Y and Z Mini Market in Stansted on Monday. The village had been without a Post Office for more than three years and shop owner Yakub Alibhai said he

DELIGHTED people armed with letters, pension books and parcels descended on the new Post Office counter at Y and Z Mini Market in Stansted on Monday.

The village had been without a Post Office for more than three years and shop owner Yakub Alibhai said he was delighted that the opening day went smoothly.

"It was a very, very busy day with lots and lots of people coming in to use the counter for the very first time," said Mr Alibhai, who has run his grocery shop in Chapel Hill for a quarter of a century.

"Everybody who came in said

they thought it was wonderful and they were all very excited about having a Post Office back in Stansted after so long.

"The service will save elderly and disabled people a lot of trouble, as it uses up a lot of energy and money if you have to travel far away just to collect a parcel or pension.

"It really will save people a lot of inconvenience - and opening at last really has been a dream come true."

Uttlesford District Councillor Alan Dean, who represents Stansted South and approached Mr Alibhai earlier in the year in the hope that he would agree to manage the Post Office, was the first customer.

He said: "I think at Y and Z we have a postmaster who not only is a good businessman, but who also has a social conscience and wanted to do something for the Stansted community by giving us back our Post Office."

Stansted's last branch, which was also in Chapel Hill, closed in June 2003 following a robbery in which £10,000 was stolen from the safe, along with pension books, vehicle excise licences and mobile phone top-up cards.

Mr Alibhai has installed nine colour CCTV cameras and staff panic buttons in the shop to prevent a repeat at the new counter.

Some businesses are concerned that a lack of parking close to Mr Alibhai's shop may cause problems.

Landlord of the King's Arms in Chapel Hill, Gary Moore, said: "It's great having the Post Office back in the village, but its location is not the best.

"The lack of parking meant cars were stopping on the yellow lines and it was gridlocked in the morning and it will probably get worse when the schools reopen."

Parish clerk Ruth Clifford said plenty of parking was available and that there was little chance of the yellow lines being removed.

"The parish council would be very much anti the removal of the lines and people should make use of the on-street parking in Lower Street, Station Road and the pay and display off Lower Street," she said.

"We are delighted to have the Post Office back here and are sure it will be a real success."

MP Sir Alan Haselhurst will be at the official opening ceremony of the new counter on October 2.

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