Hundreds join appeal for a new Pennsylvania post office
HUNDREDS of people have signed up for a campaign to establish a post office in their community.
A petition has been set up by staff members at Londis store in Sylvania Drive to run the service out of the store as there is currently no provision for residents – many of them elderly – living in Pennsylvania.
Currently the closest post office is in Whipton, 1.7 miles away, or in Sidwell Street, 1.4 miles away, but both have parking difficulties.
When the owner Mike Howe, who runs a post office from his other store in Clyst St Mary, previously applied he was turned down due to other post offices in Union Road and Beacon Heath – both of which have now closed.
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And store manager David Gale said people had been keen to join the campaign. The petition had attracted more than 800 signatures in just a few days.
He said: "This is a community store to serve the community and up here there is no local post office.
"We have a lot of elderly customers and it is our view that this is the biggest thing we can do for our community.
"There is a huge need for this. This is the one thing the area really lacks. The initial reply from Royal Mail was that they were not in the business of opening post offices. We felt we would get this together – get the names and numbers behind us – and then really show them the need for it.
"I expected the community to get behind this, but I have been surprised by the staggering response we have had."
Staff member Francis Hallam, who has been spearheading the campaign, said: "We have so many customers who have to go all the way down to Sidwell Street or Whipton where there are parking difficulties. When the owner of the store previously applied, it was turned down because there were already post offices in Union Road and Beacon Heath. Both of those have now disappeared therefore so has their arguments."
Local councillors for Pennsylvania, Percy Prowse and Jake Donovan, have also backed the campaign.
Cllr Prowse said: "It is an ideally placed store for a post office and I never realised how many of our pensioners have to catch the bus to Whipton or the city centre to collect their pensions. I am amazed at how many do it. As councillors we are actively supporting the campaign and would encourage everyone to sign this petition.
"This is an enormous ward and a very busy shop and this just needs to be a mini-sub post office to serve the community."