I am deeply concerned about the upcoming closures of the Post Offices in Askern, Arksey Lane and Thorne Road, Stainforth. We all know how important the Post Office network is to our high streets, local communities and particularly to older residents. We’re seeing the network disintegrating in Doncaster North. We lost our Post Offices in Norton and on Bentley High Street a couple of years ago and now we’re seeing more closures this month. Postmasters have been under an incredible strain, struggling to make a living during the pandemic, and many don’t earn the minimum wage. I have written to the Chief Executive of the Post Office to find out what is being done to find alternative premises. I have also raised this with the Government.
Update 13th February 2023
As residents in Bentley will know, the closure of the Post Office located on Arksey Lane follows the closure of the Post Office on the High Street. We’ve also lost banking services in Bentley which is incredibly inconvenient for pensioners and disabled people and also bad for local shops on the High Street.
At the moment, in regards to Bentley, the Post Office says that it is only going to advertise for a business to operate a parcel drop off and collect service. I have strongly argued this is unacceptable and questioned their criteria.
In the meantime and as a result of my pressing the case, a new service called a ‘banking hub’ has been raised as a possibility. Banking hubs are a new idea which have been trialled and are now being rolled out in different areas. They are a place where people from different banks will be able to deposit and withdraw money. I think this would be a useful service for Bentley.
I have submitted an application to Link who are managing the roll out but I would be interested to know the views of people in Bentley. If you think it would be helpful to you, your family or your business it would be good to hear from you.
Stainforth and Askern Post offices
I have been in regular contact with the Post Office regarding the recent closures in Stainforth and Askern. I’m delighted that the Post Office on Thorne Road, Stainforth is due to re-open this week. The Post Office are advertising for a new postmaster in Askern and I know there are several businesses in the area who are interested in taking this on.
Update 10th February 2023
I am delighted to have been informed that the Post Office in Stainforth will be reopening on Wednesday 15th February at 1pm. The new Post Office service will operate from the same premises on Thorne Road and a similar range of Post Office services will be available.
This is fantastic news for the community.
Update – 6th February 2023
Post Office Ltd are now advertising for a retailer in Askern to incorporate a Post Office Local into their business. The link below gives full details and a form in which you can register your interest.
Updates – 24th January 2023
I have repeatedly emphasised the need for a replacement Post Office in Bentley, and made clear that we have already lost a Post Office in Bentley as well as banking services. The Post Office has pointed to the existing post office in the North End of Bentley, and said it is 0.8 miles from closure at Arksey Lane. I have made clear that it is a very long way for some to travel and that there may well be others who have to travel further.
The Post Office say they will advertise for a ‘drop off and collect’ service for parcels etc but they accept that this will not include cash services. I have said this isn’t good enough and have asked them to look again at the question of the distance constituents will have to travel and what alternatives can be found.
I will keep fighting for the best service I can get for Bentley. I know how much this matters, particularly to the most vulnerable in our community.
There continue to be positive signals from the Post Office about a replacement for McColl’s. I have been clear about the importance of this for the village and I have emphasised the urgency that this needs to happen and will keep people updated.
The Post Office confirmed that they will be advertising for a new postmaster. This is good news and I know there have been informal expressions of interest already. I will pass on details of this advert as soon as I receive them.
The Post Office have criteria which mean they are reaching different conclusions on different parts of the constituency. I will not be satisfied until all parts of the constituency get the services they need.