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An uncertain future for Ballasalla Post Office

Perspective

Sunday, February 9th, 2020 - 52 minutes

Since the beginning of the year, a village in the south of the Island has been mobilised over the uncertain future of its post office branch.

After the sub-postmaster in Ballasalla announced his intention to step down at the end of March, the Isle of Man Post Office Board launched a public consultation about what the future of the branch should be.

The plan was to convert the facility into a kiosk - similar to the plans in St John's and Pulrose - instead of the traditional counter service model we associate with post office branches across the Island and elsewhere.

Those proposals have been met with resistance, though, from members of the public, service users, plus local MHKs and commissioners.

There are concerns about the reduced remit the facility would offer under the plans, with several key services set to disappear.

As things stand, a kiosk will be installed in the branch for the next financial year, but with a possible appointment of a 'service partner', who would essentially be tasked with helping customers operate the touch screen services, and providing advice for completing paper-based services.

The latest development in the story comes from Malew Commissioners - who have called on the chief minister to intervene over the future of Ballasalla's post office.

The local authority wants Howard Quayle to suspend the post office board's retail strategy, and review how it's being implemented across the Island.

Since the time of recording, the chair of Isle of Man Post Office has responded, with an open letter.