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Residents urged to use new post office

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Residents urged to use new post office

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VILLAGERS have been warned to “use it or lose it” when their post office re-opens next month – more than a year after it closed.

Post Office Ltd announced this week that it would be re-opening Hillington Post Office at the Filling Station in Lynn Road, Hillington, on Monday, November 14.

It comes 15 months after the branch closed temporarily last August following the resignation of the subpostmaster.

The service will be run as a Post Office Local, a new model being piloted by the Post Office which sees shop staff provide post office services from the main store counter, rather than a separate sub-post office area with dedicated post office employees and separate tills.

While it will offer a more limited range of services, it will have longer opening hours – opening Monday to Sunday from 6am to 9.30pm.

Post Office Ltd launched a public consultation on its decision to re-open Hillington Post Office on Tuesday – and will be trialling the new service over the next year.

Mike Tilbury, borough councillor for Hillington, said residents must now show that post office services are still needed in the village.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that it’s going to open again, but the message for people there will be ‘use it or lose it’.

“We’ve all heard this expression before but it’s very important as if people don’t use it then the Post Office might reconsider what it provides there.”

Mr Tilbury said residents would be “hugely relieved” the village was getting a post office again.

He said: “The parish council has been approached by a number of people who were concerned about having no post office. It’s the old story I’m afraid, it’s the people at the bottom of the heap who really suffer when facilities like this close in the first place.”

He believes the new service will also boost business for the petrol station and shop, with an increase in passing trade.

Post Office spokesman Wendy Hamilton said: “The establishment of a Post Office Local service presents the best possible solution to allow us to restore post office services in Hillington.”

She said the service will be monitored closely during the trial, and its success was “to a great extent, reliant on customers using it”.

The public consultation on the new service closes on November 29. Comments can be made via email at: consultation@postoffice.co.uk or via the customer helpline on: 08457 22 33 44.
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