After intense pressure from MPs and councillors, Post Office bosses have at last confirmed that a temporary Post Office will be set up in Heathfield in three weeks.
But it cannot open until IT and other services are connected.
Heathfield Post Office closed without warning on April 1 to the anger of local people who were given details of alternative post offices in Wealden, all only accessible by car. Although the closure was beyond Post Office Ltd control both Huw Merriman MP and ESCC Cllr Rupert Simmons criticised poor communication to customers and the delays in setting up an alternative facility.
Since his election, Huw made Heathfield Post Office a priority and worked closely with Cllr Simmons and Wealden District Council to help Post Office Ltd sort out alternative premises as quickly as possible.
Last Friday, Post Office Ltd said that a portable cabin would be placed on the car park at Mill Road within the next three weeks. Once utilities are in place, this will provide temporary Post Office services to Heathfield residents and businesses until a permanent solution is found.
Huw commented: “This whole situation has been very unsatisfactory for Heathfield residents, especially the elderly who rely on its service. I appreciate the closure was beyond the control of Post Office Ltd but I’m disappointed by the lack of communication to customers and the time it’s taken to provide an alternative temporary solution. I welcome this news and would like to thank Cllr Simmons and Wealden for their work in helping find alternative premises by cutting through the red tape. Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council has arranged a public meeting with representatives of Post Office Ltd which I will chair on Tuesday, August 11 at 7pm at Heathfield Community Centre. All are welcome to attend.”
A Post Office spokesman said: “The temporary closure was unplanned and occurred as a result of a situation beyond our control. We have explored the possibility of reinstating services in Station Road but there is a problem with the lease. Post Office are committed to restoring a Post Office to Heathfield and have commenced discussions with Wealden District Council to install a temporary portable cabin in three weeks.” But they said this cannot open until the site has been surveyed and utilities connections such as IT are made.
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