Author Topic: Post Office  (Read 3219 times)

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Offline John GL

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Post Office
« on: November 28, 2017, 11:18:14 AM »
Heard today that the new Post Office will be in the Mill House CafĂ©, opposite Morrisons.  According to one of the girls at Fairfield Farm (who used to work in the Co-op P.O.), it's definite and expected to open in January.

Excellent news.  Surprising that I haven't seen anything in WHN or the Wiltshire Times.

Offline Mike Hawkins

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 11:38:08 AM »
If true, it will be excellent news!
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Offline Michael

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 13:03:23 PM »
Have to say I have not heard anything via WTC.

Offline John GL

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 17:12:36 PM »
Well, it's only hearsay but she did seem definite!

Offline DORIAN

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 08:29:08 AM »
Due to Grid Lock in Westbury , went to Warminster late afternoon to post mail to States. The queue  for the Post Office AKA W H Smith, was out the shop and down to Lloyds Bank entrance in the Mall. a definite need for a Post office. how could Westbury, be so badly treated for a service so valuable as this... I think I know the answer
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2017, 15:16:01 PM »
I chair the town council working group which is monitoring this matter. We would probably step forward to lease premises and run a PO in the High Street ONLY IF no-one else offered to do so as it would use tax payers money via Council Tax to subsidise the business. But before we could do that, we would have to overcome the unfortunate fact that the town council does not have legal competence to run a business - ie. the law says we cannot do anything requiring money to be spent UNLESS a specific law allows it. Until the elections in May, the town council did have legal competence to run businesses but as a result of insufficient candidates coming forward during the elections, we have insufficient elected councillors - ie. less than two thirds. Many new councillors were co-opted. To become competent to run a business and so be able to offer to run a PO we would have to ask the recently co-opted councillors to resign and face by-elections. There is no certainty that enough would offer to possibly lose their seat in this way .....

We have known for a long time that the Mill Cafe put in an application, but Post Office Ltd is extremely slow in progressing applications. It is almost beyond belief that they did not even start the process by advertising the business opportunity in Westbury until early Summer this year - a long time after Co-Op served notice that they would close their PO in October 2017.

One of the issues is the awful access into the Mill Cafe via steep steps and a fairly steep ramp at the back which is not suitable for many disabled folk or some in wheel chairs as the angle of the slope of the ramp really is too steep for many people - especially those with poor balance or using crutches.

I do not know at this stage whether the cafe has definitely been given approval yet.


The rumours that the Mill Cafe is an applicant have circulated since the month the Mill Cafe made their application in the Summer. I imagine they have told everyone and certainly all the local PO / sub-PO staff I have spoken to about this have all known that the Mill Cafe is in the running. There was also another rumour that Morrisons had made an application, but this turned out to be false.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 15:20:27 PM by baldy »
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Offline DORIAN

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2017, 18:10:55 PM »
thanks for the response nothing to add though. Westbury needs a PO, that's it!!
I work in Basingstoke, and on my way back I stop at Stockbridge, a little village with 2000 lucky home owners, so I use their little post office where I do my business ....  says it all really. and yes Debbie, I am having a justified moan at Westbury
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2017, 19:03:41 PM »
On my way in to Bath and back (at random times) via Hinton Charterhouse and Midford, I've started using the little PO in Hinton Charterhouse. I've never seen the queue more than one person long, but it is closed on Wednesdays .... which means a visit to Dilton Marsh PO at Fairfield Farm ...
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 19:13:25 PM by baldy »
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Offline Al

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 14:13:10 PM »
The PO at Fairfield Farm in Dilton works. Sure, its a little slow, but then so am I!
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 18:01:34 PM »
The application for a Westbury PO has been withdrawn.

The application process will be restarted from scratch in the New Year.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 18:19:08 PM by baldy »
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 17:33:59 PM »
When Post Office Ltd re-advertise the business opportunity to run the main PO in Westbury, I believe the revised details will be shown here:

https://runapostoffice.co.uk/home/result/show/westbury-post-office-westbury-ba13-3xw


I understand that PO Ltd now intend to go visiting every shop in the town to ask if the owners may be interested.  Also, they want to talk in terms of a 2 counter plus local model, whatever that is ...

I am calling an emergency meeting of the town council's Post Office Task and Finish Group to discuss whether the town council should now decide that the time has arrived to step in and properly offer to run a new PO on the basis that no-one else is going to and the town needs us to step in and do it.  Having said that, it would by no means be straight forward due to the need to re-establish the town council with the legal right to run a business by getting several co-opted councillors to resign and running by-elections to establish at least two thirds of the councillors as elected rather than co-opted.

In reality, the annual cost would be relatively small as most costs are covered by the Post Office Ltd "fees" which are in reality a very small percentage of total turnover / takings via the PO counters.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 17:44:45 PM by baldy »
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Offline Shizzy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 19:25:51 PM »
Not sure many of the town centre shops have space for two counters. Shocking that over a year after giving its notice the PO have achieved the square root of bugger all.
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 19:34:02 PM »
I don't think any existing shop businesses have that much spare space at all, although a large shop like a supermarket could adapt its space if it wanted to.

Morrisons is the obvious target to ask, but they have specifically said no earlier this year. They see it as a straightforward loss of floorspace and not useful to their business.

I think the town council will have to lease one of the empty units and install the counters. PO Ltd does cover some of the costs of setting up when they accept a new franchisee.

I have spoken with one of the ladies who worked in the Co-Op PO unit recently and who has also run several POs elsewhere as manager (she now works in the Warminster PO inside WH Smith) and she is adamant that once open any main Westbury PO would find 2 counters inadequate so that it is overwhelmed a lot of the time. It needs 3 + counters. I think this very much will interest the town council.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 19:39:06 PM by baldy »
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Offline baldy

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 17:07:23 PM »
The town council's PO task and finish group today decided to continue to collect more information about the costs of setting up and running a new main PO in Westbury and also any options for helping an existing business to take on the role, though the latter idea is highly dependent on the legalities of subsidizing any business and this is something the town clerk is checking out before any progress on that is attempted.

We will be meeting with the PO Ltd representative in the New Year to explore all options more thoroughly.

I understand that PO Ltd is currently saying that several previously interested parties are now saying that they are interested in looking at the business opportunity in Westbury again, now they know that the main applicant that PO Ltd was working with has pulled out ....
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Offline Dana Scully

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Re: Post Office
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 09:44:16 AM »
Why cant a town this size have a dedicated PO instead of a couple of counters in the corner of a shop? the old Co operative bank shop is perfect, and to see it unused is terrible when we could have a bustling PO there, bringing more custom back into town, who makes these ridiculous rules?