Town Mayor Paul Holbrook and town councillors attended the official opening last Friday [12 July] of Hailsham’s new post office located at 10 High Street.
The post office opening was marked by a special ceremony with the Mayor of Hailsham cutting the ceremonial ribbon. Councillor Pam Doodes, chairman of Wealden District Council was also in attendance along with Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden and Town Clerk John Harrison, who has taken on the role of Postmaster.
It is believed that the new post office, which opened for business nearly three weeks ago, is the first post office in the UK to be operated by a Town Council.
Operating 51 hours of post office service a week, the modern, open-plan premises provides all the standard counter services and offers four serving positions: two full-screened and two open plan serving positions along the retail counter.
The same wide range of Post Office products and services are available as before and banking services for personal customers and small businesses are also provided.
“I’m delighted to help officially open the town’s new post office today,” said Hailsham Mayor and Chairman of the Town Council, Councillor Paul Holbrook.
“This is a great day for our town and indeed, the Town Council. Not only has the Council saved much-needed post office services in the town centre by taking over the franchise, but we can say with confidence that we have a brilliant and modern branch, with a tastefully designed interior and fitted well into our historic high street buildings.”
In setting its budget last year, the Town Council agreed to take over the Post Office if other franchise applications were unsuccessful, in order to protect the service and the staff.
The Town Council has worked with the Post Office on the franchise application, which was delayed due to the withdrawal from the process by the applicant who was originally awarded the franchise. As the process was restarted, the Town Council wishes to express its gratitude to residents for their patience in recent months.
Councillor Holbrook added: “I can see that customers are very appreciative to have a post office in the town centre again. It’s wonderful that there is a conveniently located post office nearby for local businesses and residents, especially the elderly who often rely heavily on ease of access to local post office services.”
“The Hailsham community has reacted in a really positive manner to our taking over of the franchise and for saving the town’s post office – and that’s exactly what we want!”
Town Clerk and Postmaster of the new post office, John Harrison commented: “The new post office service is going really well, and people are really glad to have a post office back in the town centre. A post office is a vital service for the community, and this is a growing town with thousands more homes being built in the area, so we decided that we had to find a way to re-open the post office.”
“Hailsham Town Council pledged a certain amount of funding to get the post office open. We plan to get to the stage where Hailsham’s post office will break even and it will be self-funding. We made a conscious decision not to offer any other retail premises as we didn’t want to affect the livelihoods of any other shops in the area.”
The post office opening hours are Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5.30pm.
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org