* * * News for 1st November 2007 * * *
Rochester South and Horsted ward: 1st November 2007
Shirley Avenue Post Office Counter Closes
Out-of-the-blue decision removes the Davis Estate's Post Office facility
Seemingly coming from nowhere, a decision by the owner of the News Plus shop to cease running the Post Office counter has rather abruptly left Davis Estate residents (and numerous others who have used this facility over the years) without a local Post Office. Note that this is not one of the four Medway Post Offices being closed by the parent organisation in the current tranche—it is in addition to those.
Unfortunately, Ward Councillors were not informed of this decision, and found out only through our network of "eyes and ears" just days before the originally-stated date of closure. In the event, that closure came two days earlier than had been stated in a notice by the counter.
Once we were made aware of the situation, little more than a week ago, we set about pursuing alternatives that would ensure our residents were not left without easily-accessible Post Office facilities.
The actions we have taken so far include:
There will be further news here as and when the situation changes and we can report developments.
- Working with a senior Arriva manager to investigate whether the Route 105 (which is not being cancelled, by the way, despite rumours being put about by some!) can be re-routed down City Way to turn in at Beatty Road (and indications on this are encouraging)
- Identifying another shop on the David Estate who would be prepared to take over this function, though we realise that it will take several months to put this in place. So far, no fewer than three possible alternatives have come to our notice
- Contacting local newspapers to (a) put out the facts and (b) offer to act as a clearing house for elderly and infirm folk who cannot cope with travel to another branch and any "Good Samaritans" who would be prepared to ferry them to and from another Post Office in the interim (something we ourselves managed with the smaller numbers involved when the City Way/Pattens Lane Post Office closed)
- Working-up further contingency plans, such as (if it should become unavoidable) asking organisations such as Help the Aged if one of their Minibuses could help out until a long-term solution is in place.