MP hits out at delay over Post Office

Fresh calls are being made for the Post Office service to be restored in a town quicker than planned.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery is concerned that residents in Newbiggin could remain without a local post office service until the middle of summer.

The town’s post office closed down last August, leaving customers a journey of nearly a mile to use the nearest on in North Seaton.

Mr Lavery has had several discussions with the Post Office, and has been told it could be four months before all actions are completed to restore the service.

He said: “Ten months without a post office in a community such as Newbiggin is far too long.

“People rely on a local post office for access to their pension or Social Security payments as well as the normal postal services.

“Many of these people are either elderly or disabled and have no access to transport other than bus or taxi services.”

Mr Lavery says that since the closure he has been assured that ‘progress is being made’ by the Post Office to restore the service in Newbiggin but so far he believes this has been too slow and now to hear that the town might be without a post office for another few months is not acceptable.

He added: “I understand these things take time but for Newbiggin to be without a post office for nearly a year would be just unacceptable.

“Those who are dealing with this at a management level just don’t seem to appreciate how difficult it can be for many people to reach the next nearest post office.

“It may only be a mile away on a map but it is such a difficult journey if you don’t have a car.”

Now Mr Lavery is writing to the Minister responsible for postal services Sajid Javid and the Post Office Chief Executive Paula Vennells asking them to take urgent action to re-open the post office in Newbiggin.