The Post Office provides vital services to local residents and they are especially key in rural constituencies such as Wealden. They form the heart of so many local communities, with many people relying on their local branch in order to access important services. That is why Mayfield PO and Five Ash Down PO have been nominated by you and successfully awarded the Wealden Hero Award, for their fantastic efforts and dedication throughout the pandemic.
I have worked with several communities across Wealden to keep our Post Offices beaches open and I have previously successfully fought for three Post Offices that were under threat of closure to remain open. I have also worked with Ridgewood Post Office to support its owners in appealing to UK Power Networks (UKPN) over imposed road closures, blocking access to this vital service.
I have campaigned alongside local residents and Withyham Parish Council in securing the Post Office at the newsagents in Groombridge, saved the Post Office in Hailsham, and reopened a Post Office in Mayfield, after the closure of the previous branch. I also supported Uckfield postal workers and met local postmen and women who are pulling out all the stops to sort and deliver mail in Wealden over the Christmas period.
I will continue to lobby Post Office Ltd. when they make short-sighted decisions regarding service provision which will impact the local community.
I am aware of the challenges that our local Post Office branches have faced throughout the pandemic and that many have been forced to take steps to reduce their services. I have lobbied the Post Office to resume their outreach services as soon as possible, after they were suspended in many villages due to staff shortages and I am pleased that usual services have begun to be restored throughout the constituency. Ridgewood branch now has a new owner and Horam services have also been restored.