https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/ ... y-council/
MONMOUTHSHIRE council has become the first known local authority in the UK to take on the running of a post office.
The county council has stepped in to open a new post office inside Usk Community Hub after the town’s branch announced it would be closing.
Councillors unanimously approved the plans at a planning committee meeting on Tuesday.
The retrospective application allows for an area of the hub in Maryport Street, previously used as a staff office, to be run as a post office.
A post office counter will be installed in the hub, along with other shop fittings, a post office sign and bars will be added to a window for security purposes.
Plans were drawn up after the retirement of the postmistress at the former facility in Bridge Street left the branch facing closure.
Monmouth MP David Davies expressed fears Usk would be hit by a “double whammy”, as the town’s last remaining bank, Barclays, also announced it would be closing.
However the council included taking on the running of the post office as one of its “major investments” for the year ahead.
The set up will see Monmouthshire council act as the postmaster and get paid a fee for every post office transaction conducted, including postage, home shopping returns, parcel collection, sale of travel money and bill payments.
Counter services are expected to bring an income of between £12,000 and £14,000.
Councillor Peter Clarke, vice-chairman of the council’s planning committee, praised council officials for saving the facility.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to this council for this provision,” he said.
“It is the only council in the United Kingdom who have put a post office into public use.
“The people of Usk and surrounding areas are truly grateful.”
The post office started its operations in the community hub on May 1, with an official opening due to take place in the coming weeks.
Opening hours are the same as those of the community hub – 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12:45pm on Saturday.
A spokesman for Monmouthshire council added: “A post office historian has confirmed that Monmouthshire is the first council to take on the running of a post office.”