Villagers rally to petition against proposed plan to move post office

Trevina Smith (at the front in red) pictured with other villagers against the closure of Steeple Claydon post office
Trevina Smith (at the front in red) pictured with other villagers against the closure of Steeple Claydon post office

More than 1,000 residents have signed a petition to save a village post office.

Plans are currently under way to investigate moving the business into a Co-op store.

But Trevina Smith who has run the post office in Steeple Claydon from her premises in West Street for eight years, is concerned that her customers will not benefit from the change.

She said: “I feel very strongly that the village needs the post office as it is being run at the minute.”

She said there will be a reduced service and lack of privacy if the changes go ahead.

She is supported by many in the village, with residents setting up a paper and an E-petition.

Mrs Smith said: “If the decision goes against us and the Co-op decide to accept the proposal, the idea is that we go to London and hand our petition into Downing Street and copy it into Network Transformation.”

Network Transformation from within the post office told Mrs Smith before Christmas that they were going to look into moving the business into another shop within the village.

Now they are speaking to the Co-op at head office level.

But Mrs Smith said: “The Co-op has no parking and my concerns are for the safety of customers.

“It is on a busy corner of the village.

“My pensioners don’t take to change.

“They feel secure coming in to draw their pensions but having to go into a busy Co-op with no privacy will unsettle them.”

Mrs Smith said only small parcels could be posted from the new premises, and in the event of people not being at home undelivered parcels would no longer be left with her, and would have to be collected from the sorting office.

She is also concerned about the impact on Karl’s Bakery, which is attached to her premises.

The two businesses often use one door and customers walk through the bakery to get to the post office.

She said: “We bounce business off each other.”

Mrs Smith employs three part time staff and all of them, including herself, would lose their jobs if the move goes through.

She said: “They have already told me I will not move with the post office, I will be made redundant.

“The post office will then train people from the Co-op to run the post office side of things.”

In her present premises she runs a small retail gift shop and says she would have to look at how to use the space.

A spokesman from the post office said they were committed to maintaining a service in the village and any relocation would be subject to a public consultation.