Residents in Ferndown are exasperated by the lack of movement regarding the sudden closure of their post office on 5 July and there seems little prospect of it opening any time soon.
The lessee of the property, Mr Athwal is very keen to see the problem resolved, and had hoped that a temporary postmaster would have been appointed by the Post Office on 2 August.
This didn’t happen.
“I am shocked that the Post Office don’t have any regard for the community,” said Mr Athwal, “I’ve got a team that can be put in place almost immediately. We could reopen the doors, but the Post Office won’t agree to it.”
Cllr John Muggleton said he felt Mr Athwal had made a generous offer to the post office.
District Councillor Julie Robinson said, “The top brass at the Post Office need to hang their heads in shame.”
Whilst the recently refurbished premises stand idle, the Post Office will not be drawn into saying anything more than: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Ferndown Post Office. We are working hard to restore Post Office services to the area as soon as possible. In the meantime, alternative branches for customers include West Moors, Wimborne and Parley Cross.”
The post office was closed following a dispute between the previous tenant and the new occupiers, who have now left.
Residents and businesses are exasperated with the situation and the additional time and inconvenience it is costing to travel to other branches. Some elderly people are unable to achieve these journeys.
Ferndown residents have been out in force trying to find out what the latest situation is. Tim Palmer said, “It’s outrageous.” Sylvia, who helps elderly people locally, said “It’s disgraceful that it’s closed.” Dianne added, “It’s disgusting, especially for the older people.” And Mike said, “It’s ridiculous. I have to go to Wimborne and Parley.”
Ferndown Chamber is writing to the Post Office on behalf of the businesses and Stuart Fleetham from Xerocad, a senior chamber committee member said, “It’s a nightmare from a business perspective. We used the post office for our banking and now we are having to travel distances to get this done. It’s very time consuming.”
Ben Pulford, MD of mags4dorset and secretary of the chamber said, “Since HSBC closed its doors in Ferndown, we had to switch our business transactions through the post office, which was an inconvenience. Now that’s closed, we are having to travel extra distances to carry out simple transactions, which is madness.”
District Councillor Julie Robinson said, “The sudden closure four weeks ago of our post office is totally unacceptable.
“The Post Office just saying to residents and businesses to use West Moors or Parley and sorry for any inconvenience is not good enough.
“There is nowhere in the town centre that does pay point anymore so residents that want to top up gas and electric, pay rent etc can’t.
“There is a high percentage of residents who use the post office services as do our local businesses, and the post office has no regard for them at all.
“The lack of communication from the post office to the Ferndown Community has been appalling, why haven’t they put in temporary staff until this dispute over the lease is resolved?
“They have had four weeks to come up with a plan to continue to provide services to the Ferndown Community, it’s outrageous.
“ Other than Bournemouth and Poole, Ferndown is the second largest town in Dorset, and with banks in the town closing, Ferndown needs its post office.”