Sasha Lawrence and James Cartlidge MP outside Elmsett Post Office, October 2022.
A Suffolk MP has expressed disappointment at the news that a village post office will shut.
Owners Julian Edwards and Sasha Lawrence revealed they have been forced to cease post office services at the store after a 12-month pay row.
However, Mr Cartlidge told SuffolkNews he had written to Post Office Ltd in a bid to explore how to lessen the impacts of its closure as it is used by several villages.
Sasha said the couple had to start paying for upkeep on the post office out of their own pockets, after remuneration rates dropped last year – and claimed they were effectively working for under minimum wage.
It was not a decision the pair took lightly, she said, and was concerned about the effect it could have on vulnerable or elderly residents, who could not travel to Ipswich or Sudbury for withdrawals.
However, Post Office Ltd said it would continue to work closely with the business, and said improvements have been made this year to renumeration rates.
Mr Cartlidge said post offices continue to face challenges, and said he maintained extensive contact with the couple.
He said: “Naturally I was disappointed to hear of the plans to close Elmsett Post Office.
“Sub post offices are an important asset for rural communities and several villages use Elmsett’s services. I have since contacted the Post Office Ltd to explore what options may be possible in this situation to lessen the impact on the local community.
“I should stress that I have had extensive communication with Elmsett Village Stores since visiting in October 2022.
“Remuneration for the vital banking service that they provide through the post office was raised as a key issue, in addition to claims that banks were writing to customers to dissuade them from using Post Office banking services.
“I was horrified at this and offered my assistance, and have continued to offer my assistance since.
“As we know, there are many challenges for the network, particularly as more and more services which once transacted at scale over post office counters, are now moving online.
“On the assumption that the village shop hosting the post office remains open, I hope that villagers will continue to use it as much as possible, as that is what matters most of all.”
Published by Suffolk News.