|Ortongate's post office has been saved|
A few months ago, we were alarmed to learn that two of Orton's three post offices - the one in Herlington and the one in Ortongate - were set to close. Both were located inside branches of McColl's newsagents. With McColl's taking the decision to close both of its Orton branches the future of the treasured local post offices looked bleak unless another business could be found that was willing to host a post office franchise.
Today, we have learned that the post office in Ortongate is to be saved. It is moving from McColl's to QD. This is fantastic news for local people, who rely on the post office for many services, from banking to keeping in touch with friends and family.
We first became aware that the post offices were under threat in February when a rumour reached us that both branches of McColl's in Orton were closing down. Julie immediately wrote a letter to the Peterborough Telegraph which supported our campaign to save the post office by following the campaign and writing a couple of articles about it over the following months.
Letter: Fears over future of post offices
Article: Calls to save vital post offices
Article: Demonstration to save crucial city post offices
We also wrote a 'speakers corner' article for the Peterborough Telegraph in which we talked about the terrible impact that the loss of local post offices can have on local communities.
Article: Closures make life more difficult
Then on Monday 26th March we were joined by Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and a number of local residents in a demonstration outside the McColl's in Ortongate, where we made local residents aware that the post office was at risk an called on local businesses to step in and save the vital service.
from Julie Howell on Vimeo.
from Julie Howell on Vimeo.
All went quiet for a while while local campaigners from across the political spectrum worked hard to spread the message that unless a new franchisee was found, people living in Orton could lose access to essential post office services, maybe for a short while, maybe forever.
QD saves the day
Then on Thursday 18th October 2018 we received the news we had all been hoping for. The Post Office got in touch to let us know that from the start of 2019 QD which, as local people know, is situated in Ortongate will be the new home of the post office.
The Post Office says customers will access Post Office services at two low-screened, open-plan, modern serving points that are part of the retail counter. Working with QD, the Post Office will adapt the current store layout, fixtures and fittings to accommodate the Post Office tills if needed. The branch will offer a wide range of Post Office products and services. The Post Office says customer satisfaction with local style branches stands at 96%, and nearly 20% of local branch customers visit outside traditional opening hours.
This is tremendous news, with some people in Orton already excited about the move to QD and saying they think it will be an even better location than McColl's has been.
Have your say
The Post Office would love to know your views about the re-location of the post office to QD. If you have any comments please leave them on the Post Office website.