Effingham post office: move to supermarket will not diminish service


THE Post Office has assured customers its services in Effingham will not suffer, despite plans to move them from a dedicated store to behind the counter of a supermarket

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: January 18, 2015

By Alexander Robertson alexander.robertson@essnmedia.co.uk

  • NEW HOME: Services will soon move four shops down the parade to the VKS Village Supermarket REGM20150109B-003_C Photo by Grant Melton

  • ON THE MOVE: The Post Office’s current home in The Street

The village’s branch is set to move 20m from its current location in The Street to the VKS Village Supermarket further down the parade, it was announced last week.

The national post provider was quick to allay fears and said the move, which has no set date but is expected to happen before the end of March, would lead to an improved service.

Balakrishnan Chandrapalan, who will become the village’s new postmaster, said: “As a community retailer we are delighted that we will soon offer Post Office services in our convenience store.

“Residents will be able to access a wide range of Post Office services during our shop opening hours; 37 hours and 30 minutes a week more than currently offered.

“I’m looking forward to introducing my existing customers to the new service, and welcoming new people to the store.

“I’m confident they will be pleased with the flexibility and convenience of the new Post Office service.”

The Post Office said Effingham would get a “new-style local service” where services will be provided at a serving point located at the shop counter instead of from a separate, full-screened position.

Current sub-postmaster Mark Jones told the Advertiser: “At the moment the post office is run from the front of a privately owned house where a sale has been agreed.

“The Post Office is not sure it can survive as a stand-alone operation so wanted to attach it to a shop which was open for longer and with a stronger retail presence.

“It is important that Effingham keeps a post office service as there are a lot of people including those who are a bit older who rely on it.

“It is all down to how it is run but there’s no reason to believe there will be a change in the quality of service going forward.”

Post Office regional network manager Will Russell said he was confident the new facility would be popular with villagers and that the move was part of a “modernisation” of services.

However, villager Andrew Campaggio said: “They can dress it up how they like but it is obviously just a cost-cutting measure.

“I can’t see how going from a dedicated store to a behind-the-counter operation at a convenience shop is anything other than a downgrade.”