Fury and dismay as Padiham residents left without a post office for two weeks
The post office based at Ramzan Foodstore in Padiham's Victoria Road will be closed from today until Wednesday, March 20th due to staff shortages.
The announcement came hot on the heels of the indefinite closure of the main post office in Burnley Road after several months of erratic opening hours.
The nearest post office facilities for residents in Padiham and Hapton are now at Rosegrove post office situated in Lowerhouse Lane, Burnley which is 1.4 miles away or Emma's News in Padiham Road, Burnley which is 1.5 miles away.
It is bleak news for Padiham residents also as there are no banks left in the town either.
News of the two week closure was greeted with dismay by the Mayor of Padiham Coun. Andy Tatchell who said he found it hard to believe that the Post Office could not find any qualified staff to fill in after it released a statement to say it had been unable to find any support to ensure the branch can remain open during this short period.
He said: "The post office have closed several branches across East Lancashire in recent months so there will be many people who would be fully qualified and available to take on this role.
"I don't think the post office have looked very far in their search."
A spokesman for the Post Office has apologised for the unexpected closure of the Victoria Road post office, saying: "With the postmaster away, we can confirm that Victoria Road Post Office will be closed temporarily from 4th to 20th March and unfortunately, we have been unable to find any support to ensure the branch can remain open during this short period.
"We sincerely apologise to customers for any inconvenience this will cause.
"In the meantime, post office services are available at nearby Rosegrove Post Office, which is less than a mile and a half away.”
Commenting on the closure of the Burnley Road post office the spokesman added: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Padiham Post Office.
"We understand how important a Post Office can be to a community and would like to reassure customers that we are working hard to restore services to them as soon as possible.
“Any retailer or small business owner interested in running the Post Office and incorporating it into their business should visitwww.runapostoffice.co.uk or email [email protected].”
In November last year the Burnley Road branch went up for sale on ebay with a £25,000 price tag.
Described as "profitable mains post office" the business was marketed as offering a full mains post office service, potential buyers are also told there is plenty of scope to increase the retail side of the business as it provides banking services as there are no banks left open in the town.
Any buyers would have to pay post office fees of £29,000 and an annual rent of £7,200.
At the time a Post Office spokeman said the owner of the Padiham branch was an independent retailer, who had put his retail business up for sale and this included the role of postmaster.
The spokesman added: “Anybody who registers interest in taking on the retail business would need to go through our robust application process before being appointed as a postmaster.”
The owner of Padiham Post Office is also selling one in Bolton on the same site.