Support for Millwey Post Office increases

PUBLISHED: 13:41 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:54 15 June 2010

AROUND 60 people turned out last Thursday to support a fight to save Millwey Post Office from the axe.

AROUND 60 people turned out last Thursday to support a fight to save Millwey Post Office from the axe.Attended by residents and town and district councillors, the sub-postmaster deemed the meeting a success. Terry Fisher said: "The attendance shows us people's interest and that they want to keep the post office open. It was a very successful meeting. "We are getting 100 per cent support from the town council and East Devon District Council, and I am expecting to get support from Devon County Council."I am very pleased the councillors and residents are supporting us. "We are looking to get backing from three pillars: businesses, councillors and, most importantly, the people."Mr Fisher had previously drawn up a format letter for customers to use to make their feelings known about the proposal. He said over 1,000 forms had been taken and over 200 handed back to him directly. "I think it's a good response," he said. "And it's difficult to say how many have been sent off rather than returned to us."In a letter of response to the town council, the independent watchdog for postal services, Postwatch, replied that the proposed closure had been passed to the regional team for review.Postwatch South and West executive officer Beccy Wilson wrote: "As prescribed by Government, Postwatch's focus during consultation is on whether Post Office Limited's proposals meet the newly-introduced minimum access criteria for post offices (which aim to ensure communities are within a reasonable distance from a post office)."She added that other factors, such as transport arrangements, demographics and the impact on the local economy would be taken into account. She also said they would be challenging Post Office Limited's proposals where they felt they failed to take customer needs into account - but that the overall decision would be make by Post Office Limited.The Millwey Rise branch has been listed for closure under post office plans to cut the 14,000-branch national network by 2,500. Mr Fisher said he had until the end of the month to prove he runs a viable business.Among the reasons to keep the business going, Mr Fisher cited the 24-hour ATM service, the longer trading hours compared to the centre in town, parking facilities and the number of customers they dealt with on a daily basis.He said: "We have a customer base of 2,000, rather than the 400 the post office believe, as many come on other people's behalf, or even to use the ATM."While he recognised he faced a tough challenge ahead of him, he said he was going to put up a fight.Another meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday, June 12, at 8pm and representatives from the Post Office are expected to attend, including Postwatch South and West Network Advisor Richard Brown. See page 10.


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