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Post Office future up in air
10:40am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
THE search is on for someone to take over running Post Office services in Chard.
Sub-postmaster Les Gilbert, who has run services from the post office branch in Fore Street for just over ten years, wants to use the space for his shop.
But Mr Gilbert says he will not be doing that until a successor is found.
“Provided that a new operator can be found and the future of the Post Office in Chard is secured, our plan is to use the space currently occupied by the Post Office to expand our retail business,” he said.
“The Post Office will only come out if a new operator with premises comes forward. There is no question of Chard being left without a Post Office.”
About 6,000 Post Office branches will be converted into new and more modern formats over the next three years as part of a £1.34billion Government investment and support package.
The programme also gives existing sub-postmasters the opportunity to leave the Post Office Network if want to.
Mr Gilbert said: “We have decided to take this opportunity in Chard and for that reason Post Office Ltd will now advertise for a suitable candidate with premises to operate.
“We will, of course, make every effort to assist Post Office Ltd and will at the same time continue to operate the branch as normal until a new operator is appointed.
“The process is being managed by them but we will work with them to ensure the best possible future for the Post Office, customers and staff in Chard.”
Mr Gilbert will continue to run the Post Office at South Chard but is also relinquishing his Lyme Regis branch.