Plans to reinvigorate Pudsey’s post office include it being run by a new commercial partner and a new look, it’s been revealed.
Post Office Ltd this week launched a public consultation on the future of the branch – and has proposed that it will continue to be run from the current premises by Ilkley-based TNB Training Ltd
It says services for customers would remain unchanged and opening hours would increase to include Saturday afternoons.
Back in January parent company Post Office Ltd announced controversial proposals to close Pudsey Post Office as part of a raft of national cost-cutting measures and replace it with a small counter in another shop or supermarket, on a franchise basis.
The decision was met with an outcry on social media, with many calling for the vital resource to be saved in its present building.
A letter has been sent to Pudsey’s councillors heralding part of the public consultation. It says the current premises will undergo a complete internal refurbishment to provide a bright, modern open-plan branch which will include the introduction of a range of stationery, greeting cards and gifts alongside the Post Office service. The letter adds:
“We have stringent standards to ensure good access for all customers, and our plans for the branch include low-level counters, PIN pads, hearing loops and customer seating.”
Signs will be provided from the entrance door through to the Post Office area which will be within a dedicated area at the back of the current premises.
There will be five serving positions, which has been based on current and forecast future business levels, two open plan positions, two traditional screened positions which will also provide travel money services and a service point at the new retail counter.
Opening hours will be extended, offering customers an increase of five and a half hours a week.
The letter adds:
“TNB Training Ltd regards the Post Office network as a vital part of community services and have satisfied us that they would be able to deliver excellent standards of customer service, with trained staff promoting products and services in a modern environment, over extended opening hours and successfully operate Pudsey Branch. “
The consultation letter can be read in full below:
Cllr Mick Coulson (Lab, Pudsey) welcomed the proposals. He said:
“Pudsey councillors have been working on this a long time.”
A Post Office spokesperson said:
“The vast majority of our 11,600 Post Office branches, large and small, are successfully operated in this way with retail partners and we believe this is the best approach to keeping Post Offices in main shopping locations and at the heart of communities where they play an important role in local economies.”
A public consultation on the proposals has now started, with full details still to be revealed.
An online petition against moving the branch away from its current location was signed by more than 1,600 people earlier this year.
Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew has described the proposals as ‘very encouraging’.
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