Herefordshire border town to lose its post office

A TOWN on the Herefordshire border which has already lost all of its banks is about to lose its post office as well.

Hay-on-Wye was left without a bank after Barclays closed the last branch in the town in 2018, with people able to make transactions at the post office.

But now the post office in High Town is expected to close by the end of June.

Steve Like, whose family has run the post office for more than 60 years, said he has tried without success to sell the business as a going concerns over the last five years.

He apologised for leaving the town in the position where it does not have any banks or a post office, but he has handed in his resignation.

“As most people will be aware that I have tried to sell the post office and building as a going concern for over five years in order for me to retire,” Mr Like said.

“In the past 18 months other avenues have been investigated with leasing as the last resort, interest was shown but that has fallen through and no light at the end of the tunnel.

“With events over the past 12 months and consistent reduction of income and lack of consultation with local powers that be, I have made the decision and handed in my resignation with Post Office Ltd. Closure date to be announced, possibly mid to the end of June.

“My family and I have provided a service to the community for some 60 years continuing service through two Foot and Mouth outbreaks, long term postal strike and now Covid pandemic.

“I must thank all my members of staff past and present for their continuing honesty, devotion and service, without which I could not have survived.

“I am sorry to leave Hay in the position of no banks and now no post office.

“The exterior cash point will remain on place serviced and refilled for the time being.”

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At a full meeting of Hay-on-Wye Town Council on Monday (April 12), councillors were told by Mayor Trudy Stedman that she had been in discussions with the Post Office.

She said it would be looking for a new retail partner, but in the meantime would consider another shop to run a counter temporarily, an initiative called a post office in a box.

She said the town council would help the Post Office as much as possible.

Hereford Times: A counter similar to the post office in a box idea mooted for Hay-on-Wye A counter similar to the post office in a box idea mooted for Hay-on-Wye

Councillor Joshua Boyd Green said it’s in the town’s interest to keep a service in the town centre.

“I don’t know how we would support this process in terms of supporting them find a retail partner, because I think that is the answer rather than them setting up a whole new post office,” he said.

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“I think it feels like what they’re looking for is slightly downscaled. Obviously the sorting office has already gone and then this one or two counter within another shop.

One optioned mentioned by councillors was if the community could run a post office itself.

But the town council agreed that Coun Boyd Green and Coun Deborah Landymore would look at options, including talking to business to see if any would run the so-called “post office in a box”.

Hereford Times