NKDC councillors urged to scrutinise whether enough has been done to replace Sleaford post office branch

Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones with Margaret Thorley of Sleaford EMN-200224-104500001Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones with Margaret Thorley of Sleaford EMN-200224-104500001
Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones with Margaret Thorley of Sleaford EMN-200224-104500001 | JPIMedia
Independent councillors in North Kesteven are putting the closure of Sleaford’s main post office at the top of their agenda as a temporary mobile service comes into effect.

A motion is to be tabled by Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents group, Coun Marianne Overton, expressing concerns about the recent closure of the Southgate post office, after the lease on the premises expired and the postmaster stepped down.

A temporary mobile post office service began last week, stopping in Riverside Precinct on Saturday mornings, while the Post Office Ltd claims it is working on opening a new branch by the spring, with customers directed to use alternative local branches.

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But, there is concern by local councillors about the short term effects on pensioners and vulnerable people without transport as well as town centre businesses of not having a local branch.

Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones. EMN-200224-104343001Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones. EMN-200224-104343001
Mobile Post Office in Sleaford, parked at Riverside Precinct. Sub Post Master Andrew Jones. EMN-200224-104343001 | JPIMedia

Coun Overton will call upon fellow North Kesteven District Councillors when they met on March 3 to express their disappointment at the closure of the Post Office in Sleaford with “no permanent replacement in evidence”.

She urges members to: “call on the Post Office Service to establish a permanent solution in the High Street as soon as possible.”

Coun Overton added: “All over our district, we have post offices providing a range of essential services for local people. Like Sleaford these provide vital services, helping to support our communities.

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“For a town as big as Sleaford, the temporary service of one morning a week in the Riverside Centre is inadequate.

“It hardly replaces the substantial range of services of the full time post office in the High Street. Extra staff at Woodside in the Co-op on Lincoln Road is welcome, but a long walk for many people from the town centre and worse for those who are disabled and do not drive.

“A permanent replacement is urgently needed in the High Street.”

She invited the council’s Communities and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Panel to examine the issue, establish whether the Post Office has done all they could to rapidly establish a full replacement service, and to make recommendations to support finding a quick and satisfactory solution for this and any future post offices at risk.

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Sleaford ward member Coun Anthony Brand said he has been following up “what is, or rather is not in place”.

Andy Jones the Postmaster for Morton is providing the mobile service on Saturdays from 9am – 12.30pm.

He is pleased with how the temporary service is going and said word is now spreading about its availability while a permanent solution is found.