More than 150 people pack protest meeting against Upwell Post Office proposals

Public meeting re changes to Upwell Post Office at Upwell village hall.Picture: Steve Williams.

Public meeting re changes to Upwell Post Office at Upwell village hall.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Around 150 residents packed a public meeting on Friday to voice their concerns over plans to move Upwell Post Office into a village store.

The meeting held at the village hall was called after 400 people signed a petition against the proposals which the Post Office say are part of a “modernisation and investment” programme.

Councillor Vivienne Spikings said before the meeting: “Local residents are extremely concerned by this proposal and the Post Office need to hear first-hand why the current situation works so well for the community.”

“I am pleased that we have been listened to and our requests for a meeting will now take place.”

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss is to write to the Chief Executive of the Post Office urging a rethink on the proposal, which would see the Post Office move to G&B superstore after the success of Friday’s meeting.

The move would see the Post Office have an extra 70 hours of opening time with services available seven days a week. The Post office argues the new location would also be more modern.

However, opponents are concerned about potential parking issues and also a lack of privacy as the new facility would be open planned.

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Ms Truss said: “The general view here is: ‘If it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it’. I personally can’t see any reason for the decision to be made while there is such a high level of concern.”

Laura Tarling, a Public Affairs Manager for the Post Office, said: “This is part of our modernisation and investment programme. The new facility will involve a bright, and more advanced facility, for customers.

“So far, we’ve had 98% positive customer satisfaction; people like the longer hours and it provides a much more viable business going forwards.”

Around 150 residents attended yesterday’s public meeting and a 400-signature petition against the move handed to Ms Truss. An online public consultation on the move closed earlier this month.

Graham Tidmas, of Town Street, said: “I don’t understand the Post Office business sense in this at all.”

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Will Russell, regional Post Office manager said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in the Upwell area and we are confident this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

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