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Plymouth Post Office to reopen almost two years after closing amid fraud scandal

17 Jun 2016, 06:30 ... story.html

A Post Office in Plymouth which closed down after its postmaster was jailed for fraud is set to reopen with longer hours, including Sundays.

The Post Office will be reopening its Torridge Way branch in Efford on June 23 on a seven-day 56 hours and 30 minutes a week basis.

The branch has been improved and will have a modern open-plan service point integrated into the retail counter of the discount store, instead of from a full-screened counter.

It will be open from Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday: 10am to 3.30pm.

The Post Office said the branch temporarily closed in August 2014 "due to the resignation of the Postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use".

In July 2013 The Herald reported how the then postmaster Paul Pringle defrauded the Post Office out of £66,354 over nine months and then falsified his accounts to hide his offending.

The sub-postmaster, who ran the counter in his corner shop, used the cash to try and stop a newly-acquired bakery going to the wall.

His advocate, Nigel Hall said Mr Pringle was a proud man who had served his country for 23 years in the Royal Navy. He had plunged his own savings into the business but found creditors and bailiffs knocking at his door and took the money to keep the baker – which employed 10 people – going. He said Mr Pringle, who confessed his crime after auditors arrived at the branch, was also the main carer for is wife, who had suffered a stroke.

He was jailed for 10 months by Judge John Neligan.

The Post Office said the new operator of the premises, provided them with the opportunity to incorporate Post Office services at the same premises.

Sue Whittall, Post Office regional network manager said: "We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Plymouth and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future. This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office."

She said consultation with residents welcomed the restoration of the Post Office services

A portable ramp will be made available for any customer who is unable to manage the step.

To let customers know that a ramp is available, there will be a clearly visible sign at the entrance explaining how to request it. There will also be a bell for people to ring for assistance and both this and the sign will be accessible to wheelchair users.

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