Sunday, January 26, 2014
The future of Brampton’s post office is hanging in the balance after the subpostmaster announced his resignation.
Dave Shaw, who for nine years has run the branch, in High Street, said he was given a choice as part of the Post Office modernisation programme – turn his business into a main post office or a local post office
But neither option, said Mr Shaw, 35, was financially viable. As a local post office, the type you find in a convenience store, he would not be able to offer enough services to earn a living wage, and becoming a main post office would hugely increase his overheads.
He said upgrading would mean having to rent a larger building and, after costs, would leave him struggling to earn the minimum wage.
“I don’t particularly want to do it,” Mr Shaw told The Hunts Post. “I have been here for nine years and my parents were here for 20-odd years before that. I thought I would be doing this until a ripe old age but it seems the Post Office wants me to take a different route.
“I had three choices. Two weren’t financially viable so I have handed in my resignation.”
It may not be the end for Mr Shaw, however, who accepts his fate is now in the hands of the Post Office.
A six-week consultation will be launched to find an alternative site in the village for a new post office. If nothing can be found, Mr Shaw should be able to maintain his current contract.
He said: “There’s a chance I could stay in Brampton. The village has to have a post office as 95 per cent of the population needs to live within a certain distance of a post office.
“The Post Office will look for other locations or options which could mean a downgrade in services.”
Brampton Parish Council vice chairman Councillor Mike Shellens said: “A lot of people are asking where a post office could go. The problems are location, space and parking. It was discussed in the parish council about the RAF Brampton site but it is not good for location or timing.”
A Post Office spokesman said: “We are aware that the subpostmaster at Brampton has recently expressed an interest in leaving. Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a service in Brampton and will work hard to ensure this. If this involves a relocation of the post office, it would be subject to a public consultation.
“Existing subpostmasters will only be able to leave the network if we can find a suitable alternative operator and premises.”
Mr Shaw is due to find out the result of the consultation at the end of March.