http://www.bridportnews.co.uk/news/1627 ... n_closure/
Concerns have been raised by villagers after a Post Office and shop suddenly closed down.
The owner of Marshwood's Post Office and village shop, John Walther, had run the business for more than 40 years but temporary staff had been covering for him whilst he was unwell.
A notice appeared outside the shop last week announcing its closure, with the Post Office citing ‘staffing issues.’
Many villagers now fear that Marshwood will be left permanently without its own Post Office and shop.
A group of local residents had previously explored the possibility of starting a community shop for when Mr Walther eventually retired but it did not come to fruition. Now, Cllr Jacqui Sewell, West Dorset District Council’s ward member for Broadwindsor and the surrounding area, is calling for the idea to be revisited.
Cllr Sewell said: “John has served the community tirelessly for more than 40 years. I thank him for his hard work and wish him a speedy recovery.
“Part of the ongoing work for the Upper Marshwood Vale Neighbourhood Plan and the CLT will be looking to identify potential sites and funding which may result in a community project that could establish a community shop and Post Office for Marshwood.
“Now the shop has closed, action needs to be started to find out whether there is enough support to look seriously at getting a community shop up-and-running. This is likely to take some time; firstly there needs to be a public meeting for residents to have their say and hopefully enough people will put themselves forward to help.
“There are already two successful community shops in Broadwindsor and Thorncombe and I’m sure Marshwood will be able to create and run a successful community shop as well.”
Marshwood residents must now travel to a community shop at Thorncombe which offers a post office facility for two hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The shock closure of the Post Office at Marshwood comes just a few months after Bridport and District Citizens Advice launched a campaign to try and ensure that money was found to keep open all existing Post Offices in west Dorset.
Rovarn Wickremasinghe, CAB manager, said: “We are most anxious to see a commitment to continued funding of local Post Offices. A new study that has been undertaken by Citizens Advice found that people in rural areas are more likely than those living in towns and cities to depend on their local post office."
A Post Office spokesman said: "We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services. We are aware of current staffing issues at Marshwood Post Office and we are working with the postmaster to try to maintain service to try to avoid temporary closure. Alternative Post Offices in the area include Thorncombe, Broadwindsor, Winsham, Raymonds Hill and Morecombelake.”
If would like to get involved in starting a community project in Marshwood, email Cllr Sewell at CllrJ.firstname.lastname@example.org