Hailsham’s new Post Office could be first council-run service in the country
Hailsham’s new Post Office has been officially opened witha ribbon cutting ceremony by the town’s mayor.
There was celebrations as the new Post Office, in 10 High Street, was welcomed by the community on Friday (July 12).
The branch is being run by Hailsham Town Council which wanted to ensure the vital service could be restored to the town’s High Street. It is believed to be the first Town Council in the UK to operate a Post Office.
The previous branch at nearby 21 High Street, Hailsham, closed in December due to the resignation of the Postmaster.
When the Town Council heard the newsagents, where the Post Office was based, was closing it formed a Community Interest Company and successfully applied to take on the branch.
All six staff, who worked at the previous branch, now work at the new location, with Christeen Holverson remaining as the Post Office manager.
John Harrison, clerk to Hailsham Town Council, said: “The new Post Office is going really well. People are really glad to have a Post Office back in the town centre.
“A Post Office is a vital service for a community and this is a growing town with thousands more homes being built in the area, so we decided that we had to find a way to re-open the Post Office.”
He said: “Hailsham Town Council pledged a certain amount of funding to get the Post Office open. A Post Office is for the whole community, so the whole community will benefit from the council spending this money. We plan to get to the stage where Hailsham Post Office will break even and it will be self-funding.
“We made a conscious decision not to offer any other retail premises as we didn’t want to affect the livelihoods of any other shops in the area.”
There are four Post Office serving positions, two full-screened and two open plan. The same range of Post Office products and services are available as before, with essential stationery and packaging items soon to be introduced because of customer demand.
Chair of Wealden District Council, Cllr Pam Doodes, said: “A Post Office should be at the heart of every community so it is excellent news Hailsham Town Council has opened Hailsham Post Office. The branch looks great and it is in a very convenient location.”
The Post Office opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 9am–5.30pm.