'We're devastated' - Popular village post office to close
PUBLISHED: 16:30 18 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 May 2019
The closure of a north Essex village's only post office has been met with sadness and frustration.
Dedham Post Office, which is housed inside the village pharmacy, is shutting its doors for good in June.
Owners Mandeep and Pardeep Sandhu say it is closing for financial reasons as the current post office model is no longer viable for them. The pharmacy and its services will remain open as normal.
In a social media post, Mandeep wrote: "It comes with deep regret that we have to post this, both Pardeep and I came to this decision which has not been easy as we understand as a village our community rely on such an essential service but we have no option.
"Unfortunately due to financial reasons the current model that the Post Office operates under is no longer viable for us, alongside the reduced lottery income.
"We are very saddened by this as it's such an essential service within the community. All options had been considered which has lead us down the route.
"We are sorry we could not do any more for our lovely community but both Pardeep and I are at the pharmacy if you ever need more insight into this closure."
Mandeep, who runs the post office with wife Pardeep and two other staff members, said the parish council is aware and may try to negotiate on their behalf.
Concerned villagers suggested a petition to save the post office, which Mandeep said could be an option in the future.
"At the moment though, it seems this is it. It's a real shame, and we are devastated," he added.
Angela Avery-Hickmott suggested the nearby Co-op, which recently re-opened after a ram raid, may step in to provide post office facilities.
"Or the Coop will jump in as they have everywhere else," she said.
"Very sad for you Pardeep.
"Parking in the village hasn't helped either, and the fact that letters to be collected are held at Manningtree now, not in the village."
Meanwhile Sheralee Clifford lamented the loss of the post office, and said it would be "another nail in the coffin for Dedham High Street".
And Zoe Flint added: "Such a shame, but well done to you both for trying to make it work."
The last trading day for the post office will be on Friday, June 28.
Mandeep is keen to stress that the pharmacy is staying open and will be unaffected by the closure.