The Post Office counter at the Moorcroft Road branch is set to re-open on the afternoon of Friday 7th December.
We have today received a response from Post Office Ltd about the sudden closure of Woodthorpe Post Office:
“Thank you for your recent email about the Woodthorpe Post Office.
The provision of Post Office services to our customers in your community is important to us, and I’m really sorry we weren’t able to provide any advance warning of this closure.
I can confirm that this branch has been closed on a temporary basis due to circumstances outside of Post Office Ltd’s control. We can’t disclose any further details about the closure as this information is private and confidential, and I’m unable to confirm when the branch will re-open, I can however assure you that our internal teams are working to minimise this disruption in service as much as possible.
We are fully aware of the importance the Post Office has for the customers who depend on us, and I want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring essential services remain accessible for customers in your community.
Our Area Management Team are also aware of the situation at this branch, and are working hard to identify a solution for the short-term and long-term future of Post Office services in this area. Updates will also be circulated locally as soon as possible.
I can appreciate the inconvenience and frustration this closure may have caused yourself and the local community, and in the meantime I’d advise that you use Post Office services at an alternative branch.
You can use our Branch Finder to find your nearest alternative branch and the services that they offer. Just head over to http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder and enter your address or postcode.
Once again, please accept my apologies for the temporary closure of this branch and any concern caused. If we can be of any further assistance please don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us again by replying to this email or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org directly.”
Local Lib Dem councillors have asked Post Office Ltd for urgent answers on why the Post Office counter in Woodthorpe has closed, and for how long it will remain shut.
There is a notice on the door stating that it is closed for a ‘routine stock take’, but a number of residents have heard that it may be closed for up to five weeks.
The Post Office counter is a valuable facility for many local residents, and as Christmas approaches is likely to be particularly busy as residents send parcels to friends and family.
We will post further updates as and when we receive answers from Post Office Ltd.
Post Office Ltd has confirmed the opening times for Dringhouses Post Office, which will re-open on Friday 13 April.
Here is a copy of the statement issued by the Post Office confirming arrangements.
A date has been announced – 13th April – for the planned re-opening of Dringhouses Post Office on Tadcaster Road.
The branch closed in November 2017, and shortly after the Mace store in which it was based also closed.
In an e-mail to local Lib Dem councillor Stephen Fenton, a representative from Post Office Ltd said:
“I can confirm that the branch is scheduled for re-opening on 13th April. The new operators of the business are attending training prior to this and they will also receive onsite support from 13th – 20th April. We do understand the importance of Post Office services within the local community and hope that this information will ease any further cause for concern.”
Cllr Stephen Fenton has welcomed the news: “Many residents have contacted me asking for information about when the Post Office will re-open, so it is great to have a proposed re-opening date. I am sure that the Dringhouses community will support the new business owners as they embark on this new venture.”
Local Lib Dem councillors are continuing to press Post Office Ltd for answers on when Dringhouses Post Office will re-open.
As we reported last November, the Post Office have apparently failed to adhere to their own Code of Practice, which applies to “the handling of the localised changes that can and do happen across such a large network for all sorts of reasons. When these changes do happen, whether they are planned or whether they occur without warning, we will always ensure that the minimum access criteria outlined by the Government are met and that the needs of customers are taken into account as much as is possible.”
The Post Office’s most recent statement is as follows: “We sincerely apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused by the continued temporary closure of Dringhouses Post Office. We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services and would like to reassure customers that we are working hard to restore services to the community as quickly as possible.”
Cllr Stephen Fenton has again written to Post Office Ltd to demand answers, and request an urgent meeting.
To make matters worse, the Mace store has closed. A spokesperson for Mace said: “The vast majority of our stores are owned by independent retailers, as was this store on Tadcaster Road. Unfortunately the owner has taken the decision to close the store and at present we are unable to confirm whether it will reopen.”
The store’s closure means that the Tadcaster Road area has no newsagent which delivers newspapers, which is a blow to many residents.
The Post Office is located in a Mace convenience store, and whilst the shop remains open, all Post Office services have ceased ‘indefinitely.’
In a Twitter exchange with a local resident, Post Office said “this branch has been closed temporarily due to unforeseen circumstances”, and that they will “try to appoint temporary cover…providing it is possible for us to do so.”
Cllr Stephen Fenton has asked Post Office Ltd to explain how they have adhered to their own Code of Practice in this situation. The Code applies to “the handling of the localised changes that can and do happen across such a large network for all sorts of reasons. When these changes do happen, whether they are planned or whether they occur without warning, we will always ensure that the minimum access criteria outlined by the Government are met and that the needs of customers are taken into account as much as is possible.”
Stephen said “This Post Office provides a very valuable service for the community, and its loss is a huge blow, particularly for elderly or vulnerable residents who rely on having access to services close to home. The timing couldn’t be worse – many people wanting to send Christmas cards and parcels to family and friends at home and abroad will now have to use other Post Office outlets if they are able to.
“I am very disappointed at the lack of communication from Post Office Ltd. Their Code of Practice talks about communicating with local authorities and others where there are changes to service provision, but this sudden closure has taken everyone by surprise. As far as I am aware, there has been no notification to the council, and there has certainly been no approach to local councillors.
“I have asked Post Office Ltd for an urgent conversation to get answers to the questions that I and other residents have about the future of this Post Office.”