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PRESSURE GROWS ON POST OFFICE FOR TOWN CENTRE LOCATION

posted 18 Feb 2012, 06:45 by Westover Labour
In a week which has seen the Bridgwater Mercury launch another of it's famous 'campaigns', this time to get the Temporary Northgate Post Office relocated to the town centre proper, Westover Ward councillors  and the pressure group Bridgwater Forward have now also thrown their weight behind the project.

Councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce have written to Matthew Walls, the Field Change Adviser for post office limited saying "As Ward Councillors, we wrote to you in December, when you gave us an update on progress in securing a better site for a Bridgwater town centre post office.At that time you reported that there were two candidates who had been viewing and negotiating on premises within the town and you were confident that you would receive two applications at the beginning of the New Year and work will begin on the fit out shortly afterwards.The Post Office is traditionally a major feature in any town centre and draws people into the town. There can be few towns the size of Bridgwater which do not have a central Post Office in a shop front location and therefore the length of time it is taking to resolve this matter is particularly unsatisfactory."

Frustration

The letter went on to reflect the growing restlessness of townspeople, saying  "Frustration and anger is increasing in the town over the current provision.  We would therefore appreciate an assurance that Bridgwater will soon have a more suitable facility which is adequate to meet the needs of local people. Accordingly we would  ask you to now  assure us that action will immediately be taken to remedy the situation and that you give us a timescale for when this could be achieved."

Westover Ward Town Councillor Steve Austen added "I  feel that the length of time this is taking is  totally destructive for our beleaguered High Street".

Disaster

In a letter to the Mercury this week, Bridgwater Forward joint chairs Dave Chapple & Sally Jones criticised the approach of the never-present MP saying "After several months of discomfort and dissatisfaction for local people, it is heartening to see your paper and our local MP take up the demand for a permanent post office in Bridgwater. Your demand, however, should surely be for Post Office Ltd to provide and fund premises, not the private sector. People will remember that our troubles began when the Cornhill Post Office, (former Crown premises, today a betting shop!) was sold off, abandoning high quality Crown post office provision in Bridgwater to the private sector. This has been a disaster, as well as an insult to our town and people.While this policy continues, we risk seeing our town centre post office service lurch from one failed business to another.Bridgwater is an important town. Our MP should support a demand for a dedicated Crown Office, providing the superb public service we used to know, and he should raise this matter in Parliament. "


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