Monday, 06 July 2020

Post Office services to return via visiting mobile van

POST office services are set to return to Wargrave in the form of a visiting mobile van.

Parish councillor Nick Hart has been working with the Post Office since August when the counter at Victoria News closed as the shop owners were selling up.

Since then residents have had to travel to the nearest post offices in Woodley, Twyford, Henley or Hurst.

Cllr Hart told a parish council meeting last week that the Post Office was looking to start a mobile service at the earliest opportunity.

This would offer two sessions a week, each an hour long, but it had not yet been decided where the van would be located or on which days of the week it would visit. Cllr Hart said: “I have spent quite a lot of time working with them on this. [Area manager] Antoinette Chitty has been very helpful. The long and short of it is they are prepared to bring a post office van to provide an outreach service to Wargrave.

“The plan is to have a disabled ramp so that people are able to access it and it would probably be in the recreation ground car park.

“They are prepared to run it two days a week, possibly on a Wednesday and a Friday, for an hour a day, but now we need to publicise it. If it works well, then we can keep it.”

Councillors debated whether the village recreation ground would be the best location. They considered the School Lane car park, which Cllr Hart said had been suggested by the Post Office as a way to attract people to the high street.

Members said this might be too far away for people in Upper Wargrave.

Councillor Marion Pope said: “The trouble is the elderly people living at Elizabeth Court and Highfield Park might have a problem getting down there. They are the ones who are suffering the most by not having a post office.”

Council chairman Dick Bush said that if people wouldn’t use it in the car park then there was a risk of losing the service. He was “quite happy” to have it at the recreation ground.

Councillor Terry Cattermole added: “We can’t afford to lose it. It has to be in a suitable location.”

A Post Office spokesman said: “We are committed to providing Post Office services to the Upper Wargrave community.

“We are finalising plans for a mobile post office service to visit twice a week. We are currently deciding upon the best available location and the days and timing of the service. We hope to start the service as soon as possible. It would be provided by the postmaster for Warborough.”

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