RESIDENTS have been reassured that Fairford Post Office is not closing, despite the sorting operations being moved to Cirencester and mail collections moving to Lechlade.

Royal Mail announced this week that due to unforeseen changes at the branch, mail collection facilities for customers in parts of the GL7 postcode area will relocate to Lechlade Post Office, as of last Wednesday.

This comes weeks after the sorting office was transferred to Cirencester, which has led to concerns that the facility, which is part of café The Coffee Post, could shut completely.

Writing on Facebook, Tim Middleton said: “The less a Post Office does, the less it’s used and the spiral becomes downwards. Fairford needs a heart and the heart of a town is a fully functioning Post Office.

“It’s disappointing it has happened so suddenly,” he added.

However, café owner and postmistress Maxine Hastings, who took over the business last year, has assured her customers that the Post Office and coffee shop will remain open.

What’s more, Maxine will be overseeing a number of changes in the coming weeks to expand the café to help safeguard the future of the business.

This could include moving the Post Office counter into another room, while a kitchen will be installed so that the size of the shop can increase and more food choices can be added to the menu.

However, Maxine said she will not know the full extent of the changes until talks with Post Office Ltd have finished, "but it will definitely not be closing".

Letters are being sent to those affected by the collections change, while details are also available on the ‘Something for You’ cards left with customers.

However, Patricia Hall, also writing on Facebook, said: “I don't understand why the parcels have to go to Lechlade. I don't drive and it's impossible to get to.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “Customers do not need to collect their mail from us if they do not wish to or are unable to do so.

“If customers are not at home when we attempt delivery, Royal Mail can leave many items with a neighbour.”

Customers can also nominate a dedicated neighbour by completing a form at the Post Office or delivery office, or can arrange a redelivery free of charge to any address within the same postcode area.

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