Major disruption expected during Sherborne Post Office closure

People in Sherborne will be severely disadvantaged unless a temporary Post Office is set up during a closure for works on the town's main branch, according to an organisation that represents local communities.

Although Dorset Community Action (DCA) says it welcomes the refurbishment and increased opening hours on Saturday afternoons at the Cheap Street branch, it says the closure from 6th to 17th February - ten trading days - will cause huge inconvenience to local people.

The organisation believes local people, especially the elderly, will struggle to access Post Office Ltd's suggested alternative branches in Thornford and Milborne Port.

Simon Thompson of DCA has been working with West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin and Post Office Ltd for two years in a bid to reopen the town's West End Post Office. He believes an alternative Post Office in the town would make a big difference, and not just during the closure.

"Sherborne can't manage with just one Post Office, and will now have no Post Office during the closure. It will be terribly difficult for people and will affect businesses as well as individuals," he said.

"I don't think anyone has looked into the logistics of what they are suggesting. The right hand doesn't seem to know what the left hand is doing.

"Post Office Ltd should have sorted out the West End branch before considering the closure for refurbishment. Therefore, Dorset Community Action requests that they should provide a temporary Post Office service in the town during the period while the main Post Office is being converted."

Post Office Ltd was unable to respond to the request for a temporary Post Office before the Blackmore Vale Magazine went to press.

Regional network manager Will Russell said: "We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in this area of Sherborne and we are confident the new branch will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

"The modernisation is part of a major investment programme to convert the Post Office network to new-style branches. This investment, the largest in the history of the Post Office, makes a commitment to no more branch closure programmes."