Council’s plea after shop owners decide to close

The post office and general store
The post office and general store
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A parish council is calling on someone to step in and run a post office and village shop after the couple who run it decided to call it a day.

Janet and Peter Farrer have run Barnack Post Office and General Stores for 17 years but have decided to step down.

But Barnack Parish Council is keen to see someone else take over the reins to continue providing the valuable services.

Parish clerk Robin Morrison said: “The parish council is concerned that the village is losing something that is important. Places like pubs and shops are key to village life and it’s important to save them.

“The council’s view is we want to hang on to the amenities we have.

“We wish to express our thanks to Peter and Janet for a significant and important contribution to the village. We wish them all the very best for their future.”

The Post Office said it was “committed to maintaining” a service in the village.

Mr and Mrs Farrer said a drop in business had meant it was no longer viable for them to continue.

Mr Farrer, 64, said: “It was fine when we came here 17 years ago. Over the last few years especially all the sales have dropped - the grocery side, newspapers, drinks and sweets sales.”

Customers are no longer able to use the Post Office for services such as buying a TV licence and fewer people choose to pay water and telephone bills over the counter because it can incur an additional charge.

Mr Farrer said: “On top of that as the majority of pensioners get their money paid directly into their bank account, we don’t have enough people who use the shop.”

Mr Farrer and his wife, 55, who own the post office store and live above it, plan to sell the property but will not 
be moving away from the village.

Mr Farrer said: “We will miss the people who use the post office. Some of them have become good friends over the years.”

The couple will put the property on the market shortly and look for an alternative home in the village.

It means the post office will either have to buy the property to keep it going as a concern or find an alternative.

A Post Office spokesman said: “Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a service in Barnack and will work hard to ensure this. If this involves a relocation of the post office it would be subject to a full public consultation.”

Anyone who is willing to run a post office or offer premises for use should contact Mr Morrison on 07944 054546 or e-mail info@barnackparishcouncil.org