Spixworth post office set to reopen

Kate ScotterA post office which closed suddenly last year after thousands of pounds were stolen looks set to re-open just a stone's throw away from its former premises.Kate Scotter

A post office which closed suddenly last year after thousands of pounds were stolen looks set to reopen just a stone's throw away from its former premises.

The Spixworth Post Office shut last September after sub-postmistress Tara Murphy stole more than �11,000 from the branch.

As reported in the Evening News, Murphy received an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, and was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

The branch has been closed ever since and officials said they were looking for new premises.

Now, Post Office bosses have announced that they are holding a consultation on proposals to reopen Spixworth Post Office in the village newsagent's, just 15 yards away from its former location, in Crostwick Lane.

In the new premises, customers have been promised extended opening hours, a new serving counter and low-level facilities for those in wheelchairs, along with roadside parking spaces.

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A Post Office official said: "Our priority is to safeguard Post Office services to the local community in the longer term and the relocation and reopening of Spixworth Post Office allows us to restore access to Post Office services in this area."

The old post office closed without notice on September 22 last year, leaving hundreds of pensioners and families in the village stunned.

Since then pensioners have been forced to travel several miles to the nearest post offices in Norwich, Newton St Faiths or Coltishall. News of the reopening was today welcomed.

Keith Simpson, MP for Mid-Norfolk, who has been campaigning on behalf of villagers, said: "It's been very frustrating for local people and the Post Office has done the right thing by listening to them. It's excellent news that it will reopen and will be so close to the original one."

Tony Williams, the county councillor for Spixworth, said: "I am very pleased. It is very important for a community like Spixworth, and particularly the elderly and infirm."

� Are you trying to save a much-needed community service in the area where you live? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk