Fears over future of Post Office

Cllr Geoff Stevens outside Matlock Post office.
Cllr Geoff Stevens outside Matlock Post office.

A councillor has spoken on his fears after Post Office officials confirmed their main Matlock branch is on list of sites

ear-marked for potential closure.

Cllr Geoff Stevens raised his concerns after the Post Office announced its Crown Branch plan to move some post offices in towns and cities into nearby retail premises because it believes its existing structure is no longer viable.

He is worried about the effect any closure of the Matlock Post Office off Bank Road would have on the town.

Cllr Stevens said: “The population of Matlock is over 10,000 and the larger area that uses Matlock is well over 30,000. Matlock serves a larger rural hinterland than many other towns of its size.

“It’s important that we make sure our rural areas are not further disadvantaged by more post office closures as some of our surrounding villages have already lost theirs.”

The Post Office has identified 70 branches, including Matlock Post Office, where it feels the best way to ensure long term viability is to partner them with a suitable retailer and if a potential retailer is found it aims to hold a six week public consultation.

Cllr Stevens added: “If the plan is to move the post office into retail premises within the town then those premises must be located in the town centre making it convenient for elderly and disabled customers and others.”

The Post Office stated the plan is not a closure programme and if no retail partner is found it is still committed to having a Crown Post Office in Matlock.

It hopes to implement any moves before April 2015.

A Post Office spokesman said: “Crown branches are losing £40m and must be brought into profit. This is public money and a position which cannot be sustained.

“The Post Office is working hard through introducing a range of modernisation measures and by winning new business to bring the Crown branches into profit by April 2015.

“We want to keep our branches and believe the best way is for 70 to seek out suitable retail partners.”

What do you think? Does Matlock need a town centre post office? Email your thoughts to news@matlock mercury.co.uk