Bid to reopen Bristol post office reaches Houses of Parliament
A CAMPAIGN to reopen a Bristol post office has reached the Houses of Parliament.
Four hundred people signed a petition in support of the plans for Alma Vale Road Post Office in Clifton.
Satnam Singh, who runs a small supermarket in the shop, has said he was prepared to run the post office at no cost to help his local community.
Bristol West MP Stephen Williams handed the petition to the clerk of the House of Commons.
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The Lib Dem told MPs: "The petition is from Bristol West constituents and concerns a post office in my constituency, one of the many that were closed between 2004 and 2008 under the previous Government – the Alma Vale Road Post Office in Clifton, which is still trading as the Clifton Mini Market.
"The owner of the shop, Mr Satnam Singh, has collected the support of approximately 400 customers who want him to reopen the post office on a voluntary basis."
The petition asked MPs to put pressure on the Business Department to make provision for post offices to be able to be run on a voluntary basis: "So that communities such as ours may gain an invaluable service."
Their request is now a matter of parliamentary record and a government minister could be asked to respond in the coming weeks.
Mr Singh said: "I hope these parliamentary people will look into this, and raise their voice for the needs of the community.
"The campaign is going strong at the moment and I am keen to get some good news for the local community.
"We want to keep this post office going. This is the voice of the community and we should listen to it.
"I only came forward to help the community with a voluntary service.
"Elderly people are suffering and waiting in queues for hours."
Mr Singh, who is also a former police officer, used to run the post office in his shop before it was closed down four years ago.
It was one of 20 in the city which was axed by the Post Office as part of a nationwide paring down of postal services.
Mr Singh has said he would charge for electricity and heating costs, but is seeking a reduction in his council tax bill.
Before he could re-open, Mr Singh would need permission from the Post Office, while his tax request would be the responsibility of Bristol City Council.
The Post Office has said it would have to consider whether reopening the branch would "generate enough business to be financially viable for both Post Office Ltd and the operator."
This includes looking for "significant changes there have been locally since the original closure that would warrant the branch reopening."