Post office puts its stamp on Moreton
A NEW main post office is stamping its mark on Moreton-in-Marsh.
After more than a year, a pioneering project to relocate the vital facility from New Road to Warner's Budgens, in High Street, has been launched.
Store customers can now post their letters and parcels as they pick up their weekly loaf of bread.
Former sub-postmistresss Gillian James sounded out Budgens when her business was losing money, despite serving 1,300 people a week.
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Owner Guy Warner welcomed the service with open arms.
"It's been a 15-month journey from when Gillian first approached me because of the process and consultation that had to be done with the town," he said.
"I'm the new sub-postmaster and seven staff have moved over. Hopefully it will be business as usual, but with the added benefit of a secondary post office counter.
"That will operate all the hours the normal post office isn't open – so people can do transactions when Budgens is open to make the service far more accessible.
"The overheads of running stand-alone post offices make it difficult along with people's demand for longer hours."
The move is part of the government's £1.34 billion strategy to have 4,000 similar branches by the end of March 2015.
Post office worker Sarah Farrell, who works in Moreton and Stow, said: "It's a bit mind-blowing at the moment, but there's a real buzz about it. This is the way forward."
Moreton town council chairman Colin Hancox added: "This move has safeguarded the future of the post office in Moreton.
"It's a much-needed facility for residents of Moreton and the surrounding villages."
The Royal Mail had previously sold the original building and the post office's lease was up in 2015.
Ms James said: "It's emotional to hand the business over but I wish Budgens well.
"They've done a brilliant job. I'm sure it will improve the service, with longer opening hours, the combi-counter, great on-site parking, disabled access and a smarter, lovely looking post office."