Community helps secure future of Ditchling Post Office

David Holmes postmaster at Ditchling post office. Pic Steve Robards SUS-141028-121450001
David Holmes postmaster at Ditchling post office. Pic Steve Robards SUS-141028-121450001

A campaign to save Ditchling Post Office from being ‘downgraded’ has been successful .

Postmaster David Holmes has announced the village amenity will be kept as a Community Post Office – awarded when there are no suitable retailers who could operate a Post Office branch within half a mile.

Mr Holmes heard the village service could become a Post Office Local, which operates out of other shops rather than having it’s own high street presence.

Campaigners said this change would have a ‘profound effect’ on customers.

“I am delighted that the Post Office in Ditchling has been designated as a Community Branch Post Office,” he said.

“I have been overwhelmed by the huge support from the local community, in the form of a petition of over 1,700 signatures as well as 246 signed online and 841 Facebook likes.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has helped,” Mr Holmes added.

However the Post Office will review the decision in September 2015.

Norman Baker, MP, said: “This is good news for Ditchling and I hope it will put people’s minds at rest. There has been a good community effort supported by elected representatives including myself, Councillor Tom Jones and the parish council.

“It shows the value of community involvement.”

Cllr Tom Jones said: “The postmaster has put up a strong financial case which clearly indicates a Post Office Local is not viable. It is great we have been given this news but it is short term security.”

Cllr Tom Jones said the postmaster has put up a ‘strong financial case’. However he described plans for a review as a ‘sting in the tail’ and described the news as ‘short term security’.