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Proposed new location and longer opening hours for Melksham post office

A NEW town centre location has been identified for Melksham Post Office within a shop selling items such as greeting cards, stationery and confectionary – with longer Post Office opening hours also proposed.

A modern open-plan branch is planned to go into 6-8 Bank Street where Carpet Barn used to be. This is just 250 metres from the current site in Church Street and the new site will offer all the services currently available.

The Post Office is inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the move during a public consultation process which started on 27th November and will run until the New Year.

There will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the proposed move of Melksham Post Office. Post Office Ltd will be working with staff to ensure their needs are met whether that is a transfer to the new employer or redeployment in the Post Office.

Plans for Melksham’s new town post office include:

• Opening hours to be extended by 14 hours every week

• Modern open-plan branch in newly refurbished premises

• Easy access – automatic door, low-level serving counter and writing desks

• Wide range of products and services

The move is part of a major modernisation programme across the Post Office network designed to ensure Post Office branches are sustainable, profitable and no longer reliant on Government funding. The modernisation programme will make it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern, open-plan environments.

Roger Gale, Crown Network General Manager, said, “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in Melksham and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers.  We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate it, so if the move goes ahead it will be run by Crab & Andrews Retail Ltd rather than by us directly.”

Crabb & Andrews offer greeting cards, stationery, packaging and confectionery, and currently operate two post office branches from within their stores in Bristol.

They say they have demonstrated to the Post Office that they will be able to successfully run the branch in Melksham, delivering the standards of customer service expected, with trained staff promoting products and services in a modern environment, over extended opening hours.

Opening hours at the proposed new location would be 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Saturday. This means customers in Melksham would benefit from 14 extra hours of service every week.

The Post Office’s customer forum on the proposed move will take place throughout the festive period. It will run as a drop-in information session, with all members of the community and local representatives invited to come along. The intention of the customer forum is to inform customers of the details of the proposal to move Melksham Post Office from its current location and to give more information on the potential new service.

During the public consultation, the community will get a chance to have their say on issues such as the location, the proposed premises, accessibility, or community issues that customers would like considered before a final decision is taken on this proposal. The consultation, which would usually run for six weeks, has been extended to account for the Christmas and New Year period. The consultation process will end on 20th January 2014.The proposed month of the post office move is next March.

Submissions can be made during the consultation through the online questionnaire at postofficeviews.co.uk, by FREEPOST Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, via the Customer Helpline on 08457 22 33 44 or Textphone 08457 22 33 55. Customers are asked to quote branch code 010548 in all communication.

• What do you think? Email melkshamnews@btconnect.com