Delight as Post Office branch to remain open

Members of the Green Party with Coun.  Julie Howell outside McColl's store at Ortongate shopping centre protesting about possible post office closure. EMN-180326-134244009
Members of the Green Party with Coun. Julie Howell outside McColl's store at Ortongate shopping centre protesting about possible post office closure. EMN-180326-134244009

The decision to relocate a “vital’ Post Office which was set to close has been welcomed.

The branch at McColl’s in the Ortongate Shopping Centre, Orton Goldhay, was due to shut on January 13, 2019, following on from the closure of the Orton Malborne branch in Herlington.

However, the Post Office has revealed that the branch will remain in the centre after QD Stores agreed to host it.

Green Party Peterborough city councillor Julie Howell, who represents the Orton Waterville ward, said: “I’m so delighted that QD has chosen to be the new host for Ortongate’s Post Office.

“Residents have been really worried about the potential loss of vital post office services in Orton, particularly given the one in Herlington closed recently. The news will come as a great relief to many, and the continued presence of a Post Office will drive more people to do their shopping at the centre which is great news for local jobs and the local economy.”

Cllr Howell campaigned for a new Post Office to replace the one in McColl’s once its closure was announced, with Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley even coming to Peterborough to join in.

More good news could also be on the way after Conservative Orton Longueville councillor Gavin Elsey revealed that the Post Office is at the “advanced contract stage” to find a new premises for the Herlington branch. He said North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara had written to the Post Office after the pair visited Herlington together.

Meanwhile, Cllr Elsey has joined Orton Longueville Parish Council, with Cllr Howell deciding separately to stand down from the parish council to focus on her role at the city council.

Cllr Howell, who became a city councillor in May, said she “owes it to those who elected me to give it my best shot”.

Cllr Elsey said: “Combining my role as a parish/city councillor will give me real insight into what is happening in our great ward/parish.”

The planned McColl’s relocation has now gone out to consultation until November 29. Comments on the consultation can be emailed to comments@postoffice.co.uk, or phone 03452 66 01 15.