Consultation is underway regarding the proposal of moving the Nafferton Post Office on Middle Street into the Londis convenience store in the village just 130m up the road.
The local public consultation began on Thursday 7th January and will continue until Thursday 18th February for the residents of Nafferton to give their opinions on the proposal. After the Post Office receive the feedback from the consultation, a decision will be made and plans are to have the Post Office open in Londis in May.
Should the proposal go through, Londis would deliver a modern, new-style local Post Office branch in newly refurbished premises providing longer opening hours and a wide range of Post Office services as well as a low-screened, open plan service point carefully integrated into the retail counter.
Current owners of the Post Office, Debra and Paul Howard, are planning on retiring after running it for 13 years having previously had the store for sale but were unable to find a suitable buyer. Kevin and Lynda Rafferty, owners of Londis, have accepted a proposal to move the Post Office into their store. The Raffertys are now in their 16th year of running the store and accepted the proposal amid fears that the village may lose its Post Office.
Kevin said: “We were approached by the National Post Office asking us if we would take it over on a commission-based contract.
“At first we weren’t sure of it as it’s quite a big change but if the Post Office closed then Nafferton would probably lose its Post Office.
“Plans are to add an additional counter to our current counter service and as long as we’re open, the Post Office will be open, meaning we’re offering an extra 43 hours of services.
“The village isn’t big enough for two local shops so hopefully the changes will go through without too much hassle. All the existing staff at the Post Office will be coming to us as well.”
Debra at the Post Office said she was disappointed that her and her husband could not find a buyer to take over their store despite it being up for sale between July 2013 and July 2014. However, she was in agreement with Kevin that the two convenience stores in Nafferton would not be sustainable.
“We did explore the possibility of becoming a local but it would only weaken the existing store. “In the end we decided to retire from the network so the National Post Office looked for another facility to be able to continue the service in the village and Londis was a viable option.
“Kevin and Lynda expressed an interest and if the consultation goes through it will only strengthen it.
“It’ll be open more hours as well, and will be offering similar services apart from the passport services, which we were fortunate to have here.”
Currently, the Post Office has an outreach connected to it, servicing the villages of Wetwang, Huggate, Thixendale, Bishop Wilton and Melbourne, near York, five days a week.
Lynda added: “We will continue with the outreach to the five villages but it will be cut down from five days a week to three.
“I think you only have to look at the success of the Spar shop in Hutton Cranswick, which is a similar model, to see what it’s going to be like.
“Anyone can pop in and collect a leaflet with details on the proposal and we’re always open for a chat with anyone who wishes to discuss the matter with us.”
To give your feedback on the matter, complete the convenient online survey on
call 03457 22 33 44.