The consultation on the relocation of the Post Office from its current position in One Stop, roughly in the centre of the village, to Budgens, at one end,has now finished. Cllr Michael Hoy has received a letter today confirming the relocation to Budgens with a change over date of 12 October.
Although originally not happy with the move, the post office being less accessible for most people and with the loss of the Bureau de Change, at least we were keeping a Post Office in Hullbridge and with much extended hours, at a time when many communities had lost theirs.
However, and it is a big however, it now appears that as well as not having a Bureau de Change, it will also not be able to process paper bills like transcash, accept cheque deposits or payments, send international parcels or offer the ‘local collect’ service. These are major parts of the post office service as we see it and believe that we and others have been misled over the consultation process through the Post Office not referring to the loss of these services earlier.
As a village of around 7,000 people these services were vital. Local community groups and businesses use the Post Office to bank through (banks such as the Co-op and Alliance & Leicester allow you to bank through the Post Office) and without this service it will mean going to Rawreth or Rayleigh to do this instead. The removal of services such as this have, we feel, been hidden from us during the consultation and we have made this known to the Post Office and have demanded that these services are retained.
At last nights Parish Council meeting it was decided to remove its guarded support for this move with Cllr Hoy stating that “The Post Office must take every step possible to retain the current services in the current location”
For completeness I ought to add that my Wife and fellow Green councillor Diane Hoy does work for Budgens in Hullbridge and I did declare that interest in the Parish Council meeting.