Honiton: Post Office queues 'driving customers away'

STAFF cuts and long queues at Honiton Post Office are driving customers away, according to town councillors.

STAFF cuts and long queues at Honiton Post Office are driving customers away, according to town councillors.

They want a meeting with the post office's manager and aim to raise concerns with post office champions at East Devon District Council and County Hall.

A letter from a member of the public, complaining about long queues, was discussed at Honiton Town Council's September meeting.

Councillor Vivienne Ash, the mayor, said: "There's no doubt there has been a cutting back of staff that is leading to very long queues.

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"This is in the face of rural post offices closing.

"It is really silly in a market town for the post office to open on a Tuesday at 9.30am. It is not servicing the community of Honiton."

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Miss Ash raised concern about post office staff "pushing financial products" to customers waiting in queues "when you can't get basic things like TV stamps at the post office anymore".

She went on to praise post office staff, saying: "They are doing an admirable job."

Councillor Roy Coombs said: "There's a whole range of issues. I'm sure customers' frustrations are shared by staff.

"If we don't use the post office, we will lose it.

"We are fortunate that we still have one.

"There is a fine balance here. The financial services could earn a commission that could help to keep the post office open."

Mr Coombs said the post office is "losing footfall all the time" and that the council should be seen to be supporting it.

Councillor Jeff Ayres suggested a meeting with the post office manager and Councillor Mike Allen said: "If we can't influence things locally, we should initiate a campaign."

Councillors were told the post office manager would not be allowed to speak with individuals representing an organisation.

The council is to raise its concerns, that queues are driving customers away from the post office, with Tiverton and Honiton MP Angela Browning, East Devon District Council and Devon County Council.

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