Post Office ‘snubs’ new shopkeeper

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A shopkeeper claims he was snubbed three times when he offered to open a sub Post Office at Cowbit Village Stores.

The Post Office is on the brink of opening a “hosted outreach service” in the village hall.

But it will open only from 1.30pm-3.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays from August – subject to the outcome of a public consultation which ends next Thursday.

The sub Post Office at Thorpe’s Garage closed in January 2012.

Colin Foxwell took over the shop there a year ago and says he contacted the Post Office three times, offering to take a sub-postmaster’s course and open a sub Post Office.

He said: “So many people were asking about it that I made enquiries and they never got back to me.”

Mr Foxwell said he’s been told the Post Office only get back if they are interested in the applicant, but he says – if that’s right – it’s not a good system.

“It’s just polite to let them (applicants) know what the situation is.

“ You don’t just leave them hanging, it’s not what I call good business.”

Mr Foxwell said he’s not even been asked to comment on the consultation on the part-time Post Office.

“I know they have sent letters out to everybody about it, but they never put one through my door, which seems a bit strange,” he said.

“They seem to have a strange way of working.”

Cowbit Parish Council chairman Trevor Tyrrell said a part-time Post Office is better than nothing but he would rather have one in the village shop opening longer hours.

He said people are going to Spalding or elsewhere to draw money or send parcels and the sub Post Office was “an amenity that was sadly missed”.

A Post Office spokesman said: “The Post Office vacancy was advertised locally for some time, with no interest, and although we had discussions with a potential owner of the village shop we are unaware of any applications from Mr Foxwell.”

The spokesman apologised to customers for inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of the sub Post Office and said it had been working hard to restore a service to the community.