Post Office palaver

South Downs MP Nick Herbert has written to the chief executive of Post Office Limited to seek answers on the closure of the post office in Pulborough.

Residents spoke of their frustration after they were left without a post office during the busy Christmas period.

One man, who wished to remain anonymous, told the County Times: “Pensioners who rely on the service and can just walk into the high street won’t be able to get to the next nearest one, which is either Coldwaltham or Billingshurst.”

Post Office Limited said it was only a temporary closure, but Mr Herbert said the timing was inconvenient, along with lack of information.

The village has many elderly residents, some without transport, and no option of bus routes to another village with facilities, he added.

A number of residents have written to the MP to tell him of the disruption the closure has caused.

Mr Herbert first raised concerns to the Post Office headquarters in May last year when he learned that the old site was to be closed and relocated within the local Londis convenience store. This also meant the downgrading of the service with fewer facilities on offer.

In his letter to the Post Office’s chief executive, Mr Herbert says: “The decision to move the operation to 83 Lower Street, only for it to be closed less than six months later, was apparently ill-judged and has confirmed [the communities’] fears about the service and their feeling that their views were not taken into account.”

Mr Herbert continues in his letter: “In light of the disruption the decision to move the Post Office and its subsequent closure has caused, it is particularly important that the residents’ concerns are given proper consideration now.”

Following further exchanges with the Post Office, Nick Herbert commented: “As well as writing formally to the chief executive I have been in touch with the Post Office team dealing with this.

“I hope and expect that they will set up an interim service as soon as possible as well as identifying a permanent new site.”

Management at the general stores in Lower Street, Pulborough, told the County Times it was ‘too much pressure’ for them to continue with the post office service from 7am-7pm. They said as subpostmasters they earned a commission based on the profits made from transactions, but this had provied difficult to do with a recent drop in sales across the UK.