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Post Office to keep searching for franchise partner

The Post Office has vowed to keep searching for a way to ensure the future of the service in Diss.

A spokesman for the company said this week that it will “continue to seek retail partners” while keeping all options open as the closing date for applications approaches on July 3.

The spokesman confirmed that no applicants had yet come forward to take over the service as a franchise.

“We’re continuing to advertise for potential retail partners in Diss,” he said.

“We announced last year that we were looking to potentially franchise the branch to ensure the sustainability of our provision of services there for the longer term.

“This advert for potential retail partners has been running since the end of last year.

“Our strategy of opening new branches or converting existing branches to be operated within shops means we are able to keep our presence in key locations such as Diss.

“The vast majority of post offices are operated in this way. But there are currently no detailed plans for Diss.

“We are committed to ensuring that Diss has a post office. We will continue to seek retail partners and we always keep options open, for example, to extend or re-advertise if necessary.”

Richard Bacon MP
Richard Bacon MP

It follows a meeting between South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, town and district councillors and representatives from the Post Office, earlier this month.

Mr Bacon met Ken Penton, post office external affairs manager, South Norfolk councillors Tony Palmer, Graham Minshull and Keith Kiddie, and town councillors Julian Mason and Eric Taylor on May 18.

Diss town council leader Julian Mason said he felt reassured.

“Following the meeting, I do feel reassured that a post office can be retained in some form as part of the company’s business model,” he said. “There have been times when I have thought we could face the possibility of losing it.

“There is also the possibility that someone could take over the service within the building, which opens up another option.”

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