Eastbourne post office shuts this month despite protests

A post office in Eastbourne is set to shut this month despite protests from residents.

A post office in Eastbourne is set to shut this month despite protests from residents.

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The site is set to close on January 27, a spokesperson for the Post Office confirmed.

Meads Community Association and local residents protested about the closure of the Co-op and Post Office in Meads Street in September 2021. Photo by Justin Lycett. SUS-220118-092025001

The spokesperson said, “The operator for Meads Post Office has made the difficult decision to close their store and the branch will be closing temporarily on Thursday 27 January at 5.30pm.

“We know how important a Post Office is to a community. We are trying to keep any period of closure to a minimum. The vacancy is advertised on www.runapostoffice.co.uk and we would welcome applications from local retailers. In the interim alternative branches include Eastbourne and Old Town.”

Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne, said, “I have been working with councillor Jane Lamb, Meads Community Association and our local businesses to keep a branch open in Meads Street.

“The demand for Post Office services is high in this area of our town and the anticipated closure, along with the Co-op store by the end of the month, is a big concern for residents.

“The good news is there continues to be interest from local businesses for a Post Office to be located within a store. Post Office representatives have been to Meads Street and are looking at a range of options.

“I have written to local residents with an update and raised the matter with the relevant minister, Paul Scully MP, to see what can be done. I am due to speak to him again soon.

“I have also asked the Post Office to consider an outreach service to maintain this vital presence on the High Street. Watch this space for further updates.”

We learnt the following information re the Meads Post office at our Committee meeting on Saturday which I sent to Caroline Ansell.

Dennis Scard, chairman of Meads Community Association, said, “They [Post Office] have asked for expressions of interest from local traders, and we understand that two or three traders have followed this up.”

He said traders have told him they’ve been told by the Post Office that they have to pay £12-15k upfront to fit out the unit which would have been at their expense and that any income would come from a small commission on transactions rather than an annual rent.

To this Mr Scard said, “To pay upfront for the alterations and then to base remuneration on sales from which you may have to pay for additional staff without any guarantee of income is unlikely to attract any takers.

“Rather than the Post office management actively looking for new premises they seem to leave it to local traders to contact them, and then they impose

large upfront costs without any guaranteed rewards which seems to us that we are unlikely to have a post office in the foreseeable future.”

A Post Office spokesperson said, “We want to quickly restore service to the Meads area of Eastbourne and we are looking at temporary and permanent solutions. Funding may now potentially be available and this will be discussed with interested applicants.”

The alternative Post Office branches in Eastbourne are:

Eastbourne Post Office, WHSmith, 110 Terminus Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3AL

Old Town Post Office, 50 Ocklynge Road, Eastbourne, BN21 1PP