We asked the people of Mansfield what they thought of controversial plans to relocate the town’s historic post office to a newsagents.
Post Office announced it plans to move the branch from Church Street into WHSmith on West Gate last week.
Kate Allsop district mayor has already hit out against the move fearing it could damage trade and the prospects of revitalising the run down White Hart area.
We asked post office users and traders what they thought of the decision.
Hairdresser Wayne Barlow’s business is across the road from the Post Office.
He says the move will definitely affect businesses in the area.
Mr Barlow said the whole move seems to be ‘cut and dried’ as the Post Office sent out a newsletter informing businesses of the decision - and then asked them for their opinions on it.
He said: “The whole street is destitute and this whole part of town is going to the dogs.
“I look out of my window and I can see three closed properties.
“There’s the Eight Bells and the White Hart pubs have shut, the Stateside Diner on the corner is to let.
“Now they have told us the Post Office is shutting down.
“There is plenty of parking down here but very little else, because it is run down and derelict -it is a shame.
“A few weeks ago they sent us a newsletter telling us what they were going to do but asked us to comment after the event.”
He pointed out that there is free disabled parking across the road from the post office.
“A lot of older and disabled people use the post office. How they will be able to do their business in the part of town they are proposing to move to I don’t know.
“People are creatures of habit - you would often get a man coming in for a trim when his wife collected their pension.”
Shop assistants at Geoff Webster Butchers, serving pastries and sandwiches to customers across from the Post Office, would only say:”We are not happy about it.”
When we visited the post office at 1pm there was a brisk trade and a steady stream of people using it, of all ages and different ethnicity.
Carol Grant of Forest Town had just queued to post letters. She said: “It seems sacrilege after all these years. It is obviously going to make it harder because they won’t have as many tills and the queues are huge here. A lot of people have to come to the Post Office, particularly if they don’t have a bank account.
“There are three cashiers in there and I had to wait 10 minutes to get served.”
Stuart Smith of Mansfield said he was very much against the move.
He said: “This is one of Mansfield’s historic buildings. Leave it where it is - they always have to mess us about . I use it quite a bit and it has been here all my life.
“It does bring people down here if they want cards, stamps and money it brings them to the local shops and I think this will stop a lot of people - a good 40 per cent I reckon.”
Amy Mason from Mansfield said: “I don’t see how it is going to work space wise. Surely moving it to WH Smiths is not going to help. I use the Post Office a lot for dropping off parcels and i can just park across the road for free for half an hour - and there is a disabled bay.
Marie Hammond of Mansfield described the move as “insane”.
She said: “This is quite an important building to try and put all the facilities the people use here into a shop is ridiculous.
“What about the amount of staff being made redundant.
“It is our main Post Office and an important part of the community.
“What will they do with the building - there is a memorial in there to the Post office workers who died in the war. Where will that go?
“Surely they can’t just put it up in WH Smiths.”