CHANGES to a Shoreham post office could see opening times extended.
Modernisation of Mansell Road Post Office is part of a £2billion Government investment programme and residents are being asked for their views before it is finalised.
Postmaster Anant Sthankiya said he was celebrating 25 years at the branch this year and it was good news for the shop.
“It is inevitable for change. Before I go, I wanted to make sure we kept the post office in the community, but I will be here for a while yet.
“We are central to the community. We will still be able to give the services and it will mean we can improve the shop.”
Sheila Tapster, network transformation PR manager, said the Post Office was considering converting the corner site into a new-style local branch.
“The idea is that Post Office services would be from a till on the retail counter in a modern, open-plan branch instead of the separate screened counter,” she explained.
“It would be available seven days a week during the store’s opening hours – Monday to Saturday 6.30am to 6pm and Sunday 6.30am to 1pm. This would mean that the branch would open an extra 29 hours and 30 minutes a week for customer convenience.”
Almost all post office services will be on offer. The few that are not will be available at Southlands Post Office, in Upper Shoreham Road, about half-a-mile away.
Peter Metcalfe, county councillor for Kingston Buci division, said it was fantastic news.
“It is just a small post office and it is vital to the community. There is nothing else in the area. The post office is here to stay and we want to reassure people that is the case.”
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, encouraged people to have their say on the proposals.
He added: “Post offices are essential community hubs and provide a range of important services to the local community.
“It is really important that local residents and customers engage with the process of change to make sure that we get a newly-refurbished post office that does everything we want it to.”
Visit www.postofficeviews.co.uk and enter the branch code 08290899, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call the customer helpline on 08457 22 33 44, or write to FREEPOST Your Comments by February 4.
The final decision is expected in April and, if approved, the improvements will be made around June or July. The branch may need to close for up to seven days while the refurbishment takes place.