New location sought for village post office after contract is terminated

PUBLISHED: 11:25 19 December 2018

Nisa in Newport will remain open but it will no longer offer post office services. Picture: GOOGLE

Nisa in Newport will remain open but it will no longer offer post office services. Picture: GOOGLE

Archant

Newport post office is to close in May.

Postmaster Alan Carr has terminated his contract with the Post Office saying it was a difficult decision but it was costing him money to provide the service.

He said: “It is a very difficult situation. I am sad for the people of Newport. It was a really hard decision. It was not something I wanted to do.”

Newport post office is part of Newport Nisa, a general store. Mr Carr owns the premises and the village shop will continue but the post office will no longer be part of the business after May 19. A Post Office spokesman said they were trying to find an alterative location.

According to Post Office figures, 98 per cent of post offices are now run as part of small businesses, which receive a transaction fee for the services rather than a salary. Across the country, several post office outlets are currently being advertised on line as up for sale.

In this region, the locations include Widdington, Haverhill, Baldock, the villages of Melbourne and Fowlmere, near Royston, six in Cambridge including Girton, Milton and Petersfield, plus Fenstanton near Huntingdon, and Ely.

Mr Carr said his contract with the Post Office prevented him from going into detail about why he had ended it.

There has been a strong reaction in the village to the loss. One comment on Facebook read: “So sorry to hear this. It is a great asset to the village and it will be hard to cope without it. All the staff are brilliant. Thank you.”

Another read: “I agree, it is a great asset. Staff are fantastic. Hope you get the support you need to keep it operating on an acceptable basis to you.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We received notice of resignation from our postmaster at Newport post office. We will explore various solutions to continue providing a post office for the community.

“Since 2012, we’ve modernised more than 7,500 of our branches and added more than 200,000 opening hours to our branch network.

“The changes include moving onto a new contract from a fixed “core tier payment” to one based on fees for the relevant transactions. We believe the fees within the remuneration package are fair and reflect the competitive commercial environment in which the Post Office operates.”

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