Saturday, 25 September 2021

Co-op set to take on Post Office

THE Co-op store in Watlington is now the “frontrunner” to take on the town’s post office, it

THE Co-op store in Watlington is now the “frontrunner” to take on the town’s post office, it has been claimed.

The news was revealed at last week’s parish council meeting by Howe Hill resident Peter Richardson who said he had spoken to the business during his work on the town’s neighbourhood plan.

Last July it was revealed that postmistress Nikki Jackson had “expressed an interest” in leaving the current business, which is inside her shop in High Street.

The council fears that if she goes, then the Post Office will withdraw its subsidy but the company says it wants to retain an operation in Watlington.

Since then options have been explored in order to keep it running.

Mr Richardson said: “The Co-op showed an immediate interest in working with the Post Office. I’m reliably informed that that’s proceeded to an advanced stage now.”

But councillor Tony Williamson said he was “mystified” adding that members had met Post Office representatives who’d told them two firms in the town were preparing business plans, but that neither of these were the Co-op.

He said he’d heard nothing since so had emailed the Post Office. “The reply I got back was that one failed to submit a plan and the other is progressing,” he said.

“If both of them failed then they would go out to further tenders. I don’t think that at this stage there can be anything to do with the Co-op.”

But Mr Richardson replied: “It would appear the Co-op are the frontrunners in one form or another and not the two people we thought it might be.

“It is a vital part of the community and it needs to be treated with utmost importance.”

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