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Private plan to rescue Berkswell Post Office

A POST office in the picturesque village of Berkswell earmarked for closure could be saved if an ambitious parish council rescue scheme goes ahead.

A POST office in the picturesque village of Berkswell earmarked for closure could be saved if an ambitious parish council rescue scheme goes ahead.

Berkswell Post Office situated in Church Lane, which is run from the same site as a tea shop and convenience store, was opened as a Post Office in 2002 and is the only store in the village, serving the community for a century.

The Post Office part is due to close its doors for business for the last time next Tuesday (November 25) but it could be reopened in the future in a different guise with private funding backed by Berkswell Parish Council.

The plans, which are in their infancy, have been welcomed by John Evans, partner of Berkswell Post Office, who said he was keen for it to be re-opened.

Mr Evans said: "I have no idea of the timescale involved in this but it means the post office could effectively be saved but it would not be called a post office and it would be owned by the local county council. I live in hope that this might happen. Essex County Council have reopened 14 branches with private funds."

Sheila Wyldebore-Smith, clerk to Berkswell Parish Council, said that the matter would be up for discussion at a meeting of the parish council tomorrow evening at the parish hall, Meriden Road, Berkswell.

She added that the plans were "ongoing and confidential".

A spokesperson for Post Office Ltd, said: "We are not aware of any serious expressions of interest from stakeholders, including local authorities and community groups, in providing funding for Berkswell Post Office branch."

"Post Office Ltd is very willing to work with such groups or bodies, but any proposals will need to demonstrate ability to provide premises, staff to manage the provision of services and sufficient funding to cover any one off set up costs of the operation and the ongoing fixed costs until at least March 2011."

"We also have to consider potential effects on other post offices in the area, however, although Berkswell Post Office is due to close on November 25 we would still consider any such approaches after this date."

 

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