Takeaway could close PO

IF a new takeaway opens in Banwell it could sound the death knell for the village post office, according to the couple who run it

IF a new takeaway opens in Banwell it could sound the death knell for the village post office, according to the couple who run it. Lawrence and Jean Sims have manned the West Street post office for 14 years but fear plans for a takeaway, which would replace a butcher's shop next door, could make it vulnerable to closure as part of a Government scheme.Earlier this year the Government proposed the closure of up to 2,500 post offices over 18 months from summer 2007.North Somerset Council has received an application from butcher Alan Vickery requesting a change of use to a takeaway. Mr Vickery explained in a letter to the council that the property has been on the market for more than two years with no interest in anyone taking it off his hands 'as a going concern'. The letter goes on to say someone has offered to buy the venue pending a change of use.Jean and Lawrence go home to Winscombe once they have locked up every evening.Because they do not stay above the post room they fear The Post Office may think there is a security risk.Postmaster Jean, aged 62, said: "We don't know what criteria it will use to decide who stays open and who closes but we don't want to give them any ammunition."Rubbish and noise were other factors outlined by the couple as reasons for their opposition to proposals to create a takeaway. Jean said: "This is very much a business decision as our livelihood might be at stake."Husband Lawrence said: "It is not personal but it does put us between a rock and hard place. Because of our vulnerability we have to write to the council."The Weston Mercury spoke to Alan Vickery who did not wish to make a comment.


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