Oaksey village shop to get makeover
12:08pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in North Wilts news
A MUCH-LOVED village shop that was once threatened with closure, is undergoing a revamp in January.
Oaksey Post Office and Stores was saved by the residents back in 1996. Now the current tenants are using a Post Office improvement project to bring the whole shop up to date.
A new open plan look, seven days a week opening and longer trading hours are promised by the Post Office as part of a move to a new system.
Peter Gibbons, who has been operating the post office and shop for the past 12 months, said it was very well used by villagers and people from further afield.
“The community around here appreciates the fact that there is a shop. We have people coming from some distance because there isn’t one in Minety or Crudwell. “ The shop is due to close on January 4 at 12.30pm and will re-open on January 13 at 1pm. A section will remain open for villagers to collect their newspapers, but “the rest of the shop will effectively be packed away.”
“We’re taking the opportunity to put down a new floor, put in an extra fridge and move the shop around a bit to improve the layout.”
He explained the village shop association was providing the new refrigeration and a new counter. Post Office regional network manager Will Russell, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Oaksey and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
He explained: “The modernisation is part of a major investment programme to convert the Post Office network to new-style branches. This investment, the largest in the history of the Post Office, makes a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”
Under the new system the Post Office will replace secure booths in small branches with open plan counter and make a transition payment to the subpostmaster before removing their fixed pay and replacing it with a fee for each transaction.
When it reopens the post office will run throughout the store’s trading hours from 7.30am to 5.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 8am to noon on Sundays.
During the closure alternative post offices are available at Ashton Keynes, South Cerney, Kemble and Siddington.