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Shock at Bradwell PO closure

PUBLISHED: 18:28 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 03 July 2010

OUT OF JOB: Pictured outside the now closed Bradwell Post office are former staff Rowena Buchan, left and Clair Griffin

OUT OF JOB: Pictured outside the now closed Bradwell Post office are former staff Rowena Buchan, left and Clair Griffin

SHOCKED staff have told how they were given just 10 minutes to clear away their stuff and leave Bradwell Post Office.

Postmistress Clair Griffin, 26, and her part-time colleague Rowena Buchan were expecting a normal day at work when they arrived at the village branch in Beccles Road on July 17.

Bradwell Post Office

SHOCKED staff have told how they were given just 10 minutes to clear away their stuff and leave Bradwell Post Office.

Postmistress Clair Griffin, 26, and her part-time colleague Rowena Buchan were expecting a normal day at work when they arrived at the village branch in Beccles Road on July 17.

But at 10.30am, three electricity engineers arrived to tell them they were switching off the power and they had to leave.

Mrs Griffin said: “We were pretty angry. I have tried ringing the Post Office, but we have been put of our jobs and nobody has bothered to tell us.”

The mum-of-one, who lives on the Shrublands estate in Gorleston, said she was looking to take on any new work to meet the cost of her mortgage repayments and raising her son Owen, three. The family's only income is from her 26-year-old husband Daniel's work as a mechanic.

The Post Office plans to relocate the Bradwell branch to the village's Premier store in Church Lane and has undertaken a six-week consultation with villagers to gauge levels of support for proposals. Meanwhile, customers are having to travel more than a mile to use the nearest Post Office in Magdalen Way, Gorleston.

The closure has divided customers, as well as borough and county councillors, many of whom were concerned there would not be enough parking if the branch re-opened at the Premier store.

They also feared for the elderly and less mobile in the village during the interim period - the consultation is due to complete on September 1.

Borough councillor Sue Hacon, who represents Bradwell South and Hopton ward, said: “I was very concerned that Bradwell might not get a Post Office at all, so while I am sorry there has been a temporary closure, I am pleased the village will be getting a Post Office back at the Premier store.”

The ward's county councillor, Graham Plant, could not understand why the Post Office was having a consultation when it had already decided it wanted to open the new branch in the Premier store.

He added: “I think what is needed at the end of the day is a Post Office close to the old one. It is a long way to the Magdalen Way branch so I think as soon as one can be opened up in Bradwell the better, and preferably within the six-week consultation period.”

A Post Office spokesman refused to comment on the reasons behind the closure of the Beccles Road branch.

Instead he said the new branch is set to offer a new, purpose-built serving counter, an entrance ramp with handrail and automatic door for the disabled.

Submissions can be made by post addressed to Post Office Ltd, c/o National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW, e-mail replies to consultation@postoffice.co.uk or phone the customer helpline on 08457 223344 or phone 08457 223355.

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