No takers for PO
AN appeal for a new Post Office in a village looks doomed despite some residents saying it would help pensioners. The Post Office is appealing for help in re-establishing a business in Dunton. Both the old post office and the village shop closed in 2005 f
AN appeal for a new Post Office in a village looks doomed despite some residents saying it would help pensioners.
The Post Office is appealing for help in re-establishing a business in Dunton.
Both the old post office and the village shop closed in 2005 following a robbery in nearby Caldecote. The couple who ran the Dunton store, John and Pam Layzell, still live in the premises above the shop but have no plans to open again. Instead they have a planning application to convert the building back into a house.
"Following the robbery in Caldecote where the postmaster was attacked with a crowbar we decided to close," said Mrs Layzell.
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"We saw men casing our shop outside the same day but nothing happened. In the end we just closed because we weren't making enough money. People would come in and get their pension money and then go across the road and get on a bus and do their shopping at supermarkets in Biggleswade.
"We couldn't compete. If local people had wanted to, they could have forced the Post Office to keep it open.
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"But with rural post offices dying why are they bothering to do this here? We just couldn't go on with people coming in for a loaf of bread and a few stamps. This is not a rich village and there was no way my husband and I could have stayed open.
"Anyway, running a rural post office is not worth putting your life at risk."
Local councillor Alan Rosier, 74, who has lived in the village for 52 years, said the opportunity to have a post office in the village again was an interesting idea but is unlikely to get off the ground.
"The shop had been there for 105 years," said Biggleswade-born Mr Rosier.
"A few years ago we had a post office, a bank and shop. Now we have nothing. But if the old shop is turned into a house there is nowhere to put a post office other than the village hall.
"It would be very nice to have a shop and post office back in the village but I doubt whether it will happen."
A Post Office spokesman said: "We are renewing our call for someone to come forward and run a branch in the village.
"We would be particularly interested to know whether any new shops or businesses have opened in the area which may be willing and suitable to house a post office.
"We are committed to providing a service in the area but can only do so if someone volunteers."
Two women walking their children home from the village school said the idea to have a post office back in the village had come too late.
"The old one has been closed for more than a year. Most people drive into Biggleswade while others use the bus to go to the post office there," said one mother.
The other mother said: "It would be nice to have a shop and post office in the village again but people would only get odd bits and pieces there.