Pensioners are left short by Post Office

PENSIONERS could be left without money for more than two weeks due to a breakdown in post office services.

Residents in Longhorsley normally expect an outreach service to be set up in the Village Hall on Monday, Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

The long Bank Holiday weekend meant that the Friday and Monday sessions did not take place, but when customers turned up on Tuesday there was still no sign of the service.

And now they have been told they will have to wait until next week for it to re-open due to staff shortages.

The delay has left people unable to access their pension money, or send important parcels.

Customer Emily Richardson, 86, said: “I think it’s disgusting.

“A lot of older people can’t get on a bus to go somewhere else and there is nowhere else in the village to get their money. For people who get their pensions on a Friday, it is going to be a fortnight before they get their money because there was no service on Good Friday.

“If you need a taxi for anything, or if you are ill, what do you do? There are bills to pay all the time. I have someone who comes to take me shopping for a short time once a week, but there is no money. I don’t know how I’m going to manage.

“Apart from that, I have an important package made up to send. I can’t put it through the postbox because it needs to be weighed. I’m just stuck.

“It’s not good enough.”

In December 2011, the Herald reported similar problems with the service and Mrs Richardson said there have been several incidents since then.

“This is happening far too often and there is no notice given to say why. If there was a good cause we would say fair enough, but there are a lot of times when this has happened,” she said.

“The thing that worries me is that if people don’t use the service because it is not reliable then we could lose it and it is vital for older people. I’m almost 87 and I need it. It is difficult for me to get anywhere else.”

County councillor for the area Glen Sanderson said he is furious about what has happened and will demand urgent talks with the Post Office.

He said: “This is a deplorable situation.

“People have been let down so often and despite reassurances that it would never happen again, here we are again being let down. I am going to raise this with the Post Office at the highest level.

“It really annoys me. There will be people who won’t be able to get their money.

“If the service is going to be closed they should give people plenty of notice. Just to have people turn up on the doorstep and find no service is appalling behaviour.

“This has got to be sorted out once and for all. I have to have serious discussions with the Post Office.”

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to the residents of Longhorsley that due to a staff shortage Stobhillgate Post Office is unable to provide the scheduled outreach service this week. The outreach service will be provided next week. We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”