Ellen Smets and Chalke Valley Stores at Bishopstone Bish-Bash on 11th June 2016
|Chalke Valley Community Hub||Michael Roe (secretary)
Nigel Tinkler (Facilities Manager)
|The Secretary, Chalke Valley Community Hub, Lodge Farmhouse, Hut & Lodge, Salisbury SP5 5LU
Community Hub Manager, URC Chapel, High Road, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EH
|Chalke Valley Stores||Ellen Smets (Retail Manager)||01722 780998||URC Chapel, High Road, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EH
Shop open weekdays 8.30am to 6.00pm and Saturdays 8.30am to 4.00pm
Coffee Shop open weekdays 9.00am to 4.30pm (4.00pm on Saturdays)
All closed bank and public holidays; website
|Post Office||Richard James (Postmaster)||01722 780115||URC Chapel, High Road, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EH
Open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9.00am to 1.00pm
News & Outreach Service meeting minutes
|Public House||The Queen's Head||01722 780344||North Street, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EN; website|
|Watercress||Keith Hitchings||01722 780142||Slate House, The Marsh, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 5HJ website|
Public Meetings regarding a new community shop and post office were held on 20th October 2012 at 10.30am, on 26th October 2012 at 7.30pm and on 19th April 2013 at 7.00pm in the village hall.
|The Sixpenny Handley and Chalke Valley Practice||01722 780282
|Doctor's surgery at Doves Meadow, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EL, a cul-de-sac near the Queen's Head. The Surgery is closed on Monday afternoons and Wednesdays but the Broad Chalke phone number is still manned.
Out of Hours Service: 111
Dispensary: 01725 552589
Health Visitor: 01725 552806
District Nurses: 01725 552792
Non-urgent Midwife: 01722 425185
Urgent Midwife: 01722 336262
|The Link Service; Care-Co-ordinator||01722 421270||Volunteer Help, Care, Advice and Support; contact Debbie Underhill|
|The Link Service; Transport
|01722 780800||Volunteer Transport; contact Jennie Brown|
A few articles about what is going on at Salisbury Hospital written by Alastair Lack, one of the elected governors, can be read on Salisbury District Hospital
Home Visiting Volunteers needed at Age UK Salisbury District (Welfare and Benefits)
Age UK's vision is a world where everyone can love later life. We know some people can face illness, loneliness or poverty as they grow older. Whatever the situation, Age UK provides support and vital services to help make later life the best it can be.
Age UK Salisbury District provides Information and Advice to local older people from our offices in town. The Welfare and Benefit Home Visiting Service provides support for those who are unable to leave their home and may be eligible for vital government benefits. Can you spare 4 hours a week to really change someone's life?
We offer full training, flexible hours, volunteer support and the opportunity to make a difference.
For further information email email@example.com phone 01722 335425 or visit us at 21 Brown Street, Salisbury, SP1 2AS
|Bed & Breakfast|
|Cawden Cottage||01722 718463||Stratford Tony, Salisbury, SP5 4AT|
|Lodge Farmhouse||01725 519242||Hut & Lodge Farm, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5LU|
|Manor Farm||01722 780230||Manor Farm, Broadchalke, Salisbury, Wilts SP5 5DW|
|Old Stoke||01722 780513||Stoke Farthing, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5ED|
|Stoke Manor||01722 781260||High Road, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EF|
|The Queen's Head||01722 780344||North Street, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, SP5 5EN|
|The Horseshoe Inn||01722 780474||Ebbesbourne Wake|
Email addresses, tariffs, accommodation details, food and photos are on the webpages above.
Bus service No. 29 Traveline Timetable from Blue Boar Row (stop M), then Brown Street (stop Y) in Salisbury, (NOT from the old bus station in Endless Street) (via Odstock District Hospital) or from Shaftesbury, roughly every 90 minutes (not on Sundays) or Wiltshire page with link to Traveline for all SW bus routes.
Trains to Salisbury or Tisbury from London Waterloo take about 90 minutes and the stations are about twenty five minutes away by taxi. Look up your train times here.
Classic Cabs taxi telephone 07780 578717.
|NAME||SERVICE||TELEPHONE||DESCRIPTION, WEBSITE, EMAIL|
|Wiltshire Police||Police||101 number for
|Wiltshire Police website
with an online form to report crimes
|PCSO Nicola Clarke (and PC Pete Jung part time)||Police Point in the URC Chapel||
01722 438981 (101 ext 747442 is no longer available)
|PC Pete Jung ; every week (unspecified times) in the URC Chapel.|
|PC Pete Jung Reports||
|Police Shed Security Advice||Garden Shed Security (may take a little time to download).|
Wiltshire Police has changed its non emergency number to 101.
The 101 number is being introduced nationally in phases and on 19 September it was launched across forces in the South West, including Wiltshire.
Although 999 is a well recognised number to report emergencies, the 2010 British Crime Survey found that only half of the public knew which number to call if they wanted to speak to their local police about policing, non-urgent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Wiltshire Police's Head of Contact Management, Chief Inspector Charlie Armstrong, said: "Changing our non emergency contact number to 101 makes it much easier for people to contact us. It is easy to remember and will be used by all forces across the country by the beginning of 2012.
"We are constantly looking for ways to build on and improve our service to the public and this change is a positive one that we are confident will be welcomed by our communities."
Wiltshire Police Authority Chairman, Christopher Hoare, said: "The introduction of 101 provides the public of Wiltshire and Swindon with an easier number to remember for contacting Wiltshire Police.
"Calls to 101 are automatically directed to the nearest police force, so I can assure the public that calls from Wiltshire will be answered by Wiltshire Police staff."
Calls to 101 cost 15p per call, irrespective of how long that call may last. This applies to landlines and mobile phones.
People with hearing or speech impairments are able to use the non emergency textphone number 18001 101.
The 101 number replaces the existing non emergency number (0845 408 7000) for Wiltshire Police. The 101 number should be used for all non emergencies such as: reporting a crime, contacting local officers, getting crime prevention advice, making an appointment with a police officer or making us aware of policing issues in your area.
It does not replace 999, which should be used in an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.
To find out more about 101, visit the Wiltshire Police website or look out for posters and flyers that have been distributed countywide.
|Wiltshire Police||Wiltshire Police have set out future plans of policing in Wiltshire, in line with the requirement to save up to £15 million over the next four years due to cuts in funding in the Policing Plan.|
|Police and Crime Commissioner||
An information site about the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire has been launched. The area on the Wiltshire Police Authority's website - www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk - includes details about the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner and how they will be scrutinised.
Much like the previous police authority, the Police and Crime Commissioner will be responsible for overseeing Wiltshire Police on behalf of all residents in the Force area. They will represent people living across Wiltshire and Swindon.
The Wiltshire Police area Police and Crime Commissioner will replace Wiltshire Police Authority, the group of 17 councillors and independent members who used to oversee Wiltshire Police.
You can find out more about Police and Crime Commissioners on the website www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk. As well as information about their role, it includes a news section and links to useful documents and other websites.
|Police and Crime Commissioner||
Commissioner Angus Macpherson marks one year in office.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson says partnership, pro-activity and prevention remain key as he marks his first year in office.
Mr Macpherson was the first PCC in England and Wales to be sworn-in following the elections on 15 November 2012. He took office a week later on 22 November 2012. Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: "In March I published my Police and Crime Plan following wide consultation with the public and partners. This plan sets the strategic direction of policing in Wiltshire and Swindon and at its heart has the philosophy of partnership, pro-activity and prevention.
"A key part of this philosophy is working with communities and partners, including, of course, Wiltshire Police, local councils, probation, voluntary schemes, charities and other statutory agencies, to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, rather than reacting to it.
"Through my Police and Crime Plan and the Chief Constable's Delivery Plan we are working to this ethos. For example I have provided impetus and resource to community volunteers by providing funding for two new staff to support Community Speed Watch and investment in a more efficient data recording and processing system.
"Community Speed Watch is a great scheme seeing volunteer residents recording speeds on local roads. It raises awareness of speed limits and road safety and can prevent people from driving over the legal limit."
The Commissioner's £1 million Innovation Fund is another way in which Mr Macpherson investing in proactive community projects.
In the first funding round 12 projects were awarded nearly £400,000 towards their own schemes which aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour as well as support vulnerable victims and witnesses. These include a mobile youth van in Swindon to give young people a place to go rather than hanging out on the streets and Wiltshire Police Outbox which refers young people to boxing clubs to give them a positive activity to engage in. The deadline for the second funding round, of three, is 15 November 2013.
Mr Macpherson added: "Another big area of work we have been progressing this year is a strategic partnership between my office, Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council.
"Understandably this is a significant piece of work involving us sharing buildings where possible, with Monkton Park in Chippenham being the first public building in Wiltshire where people can speak to both the police and council. There is also a commitment made for neighbourhood policing officers to be based at community campuses wherever possible.
"Work is also on-going looking at where both the police and council can share 'back office' support services. This partnership is about improving customer service, protecting frontline services and providing value for money across the public sector in the face of significant government budget cuts."
Mr Macpherson says that key to these partnerships is establishing good working relationships with Wiltshire Police, particularly Mr Geenty, and Wiltshire and Swindon council leaders. He is also working closely with other south west PCCs and forces on collaborative operational projects.
Mr Macpherson spends a significant amount of time meeting, talking and listening to people in Wiltshire and Swindon about policing and crime matters so he can represent their views.
Since taking office the Commissioner has attended more than 400 meetings or events and his office is receiving about 300 contacts from the public each week in the form of letters, emails and phone calls.
Another part of the Commissioner's remit is to oversee the way the force deal with complaints.
To do this he has appointed an Independent Complaints and Appeals Adjudicator, Professor Allan Johns, to provide clear water between the Office of the PCC and Wiltshire Police.
To mark his one year in office, a booklet explaining his role, priorities and highlights has been produced. This is available online at www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk.
Mr Macpherson will also be attending a national event organised by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCCs) in London on 14 November. People can contact Mr Macpherson via his office on 01380 734022, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via his website www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk, where he writes a weekly blog. He is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/WiltshireandSwindonpcc.
|Police and Crime Commissioner||
Commissioner consulting on police and crime element of council tax.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson is consulting on the police and crime element of council tax for 2014-15. The Commissioner is considering an increase in the police and crime element of council tax of £3.15 a year for the average home (band D property). This to help reduce the impact of significant central government grant reductions on policing and crime services in Wiltshire and Swindon.
An average increase of £3.15 per household would provide the Commissioner with an additional £740,000 of local income for 2014-15. It would still be the lowest council tax rate for police and crime services in the south west.
Looking ahead three years to 2016-17, a proposed increase of £3.15 a year would reduce the potential funding shortfall by £2.3 million, meaning that savings of £12.5 million would be required rather than £14.8 million. Since the start of the austerity period, savings of more than £10 million have already been made.
Mr Macpherson said: "During the past few months we have been reviewing the budget very carefully and it is clear that as central government funding continues to reduce more and more, we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax.
"The council tax rate for policing and crime services in our area has not increased for the past three years and it will still be the lowest in the south west. I do believe people will be willing to pay just a little bit more a year towards sustaining high quality policing and crime services in the county, especially neighbourhood policing.
"Ensuring value for money for residents in Wiltshire and Swindon while maintaining high quality services is very important to me. That is why we are embracing new ways of working smarter across the public sector, working with other PCCs and police forces in the south west and local partners. As public sector budgets continue to be cut, the aim is to work more effectively together to both improve customer service and reduce costs."
The current rate of police and crime council tax for an average band D home in Wiltshire and Swindon is £157.77. This would increase to £160.92 under the proposal.
The consultation will run from Monday 6 January 2014 - Monday 3 February 2014. During this time the Commissioner and members of his office will be attending Wiltshire Council Area Boards and Swindon Borough Council Locality meetings to talk with people about the proposal.
People can also read more about the proposal and give their views on the Commissioner's website - www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk.
Parish and town councils and chambers of commerce will too be informed about the consultation.
Mr Macpherson will be speaking with the Police and Crime Panel about the proposal at a meeting due to take place in Swindon on Wednesday 15 January.
The panel are then due to meet again on Thursday 6 February where the Commissioner will formally give his proposal to the panel.
|NAME||SERVICE||TELEPHONE||TIME AND PLACES|
|Wiltshire South Mobile Library||Library||Wednesday 20th July 2016 at Knighton Road between 12.00pm and 12.10pm, at the School between 2.15pm and 3.00pm and at the Church Car Park between 3.05pm and 3.40pm|
For traders and contact details please ask these people for a copy of The Chalke Valley House & Garden Directory:
Carolyn Sheppard tel. 01722 780545 or Jennifer Baxter tel. 01722 780969 or Louise Carter tel. 01722 781105
or please ask the Broadsheet Management to send you a copy of THE BROADSHEET or the Broad Chalke Phone Book.
|Howard Phipps||Engraver||01722 718294||Hillfield, Homington Road, Coombe Bissett, Salisbury|
There were Public Meetings on 20th and 26th October 2012 and 19th April 2013 in the village hall regarding the establishment of a new community shop and post office as part of the Community Plan.
The proposal is to create a community shop and post office (now known as Chalke Valley Stores or the Chalke Valley Community Hub) on the ground floor of the URC Chapel as Robert Fry is retiring at the end of May 2013. The existing Worship area will be used as a café during shop hours and also occasionally when the shop is closed. There will also be the existing Fair Trade items for sale, the office used by the police and Church benefice office and Village Archive on the balcony. Contact the Secretary, Chalke Valley Community Hub, Lodge Farmhouse, Hut & Lodge, Salisbury SP5 5LU telephone 01725 519242 or the Stores Manager telephone 01722 780998 or A Truluck telephone 01722 780562.
The Chalke Valley Stores website is www.chalkevalleystores.co.uk.
Planning Application Details. Planning permission for a change of use was granted on 15th January 2013. Search for S/2012/1653.
Planning Application Documentation gives links to plans and elevations, etc.
Supporting Documentation including a full description of the proposal with sketches and funding methods (PDF file).
NOTE: A major grant of £91,734 from Sowing Seeds (DEFRA) has now been received and building works started on 25th February 2013 and the opening date for business was on 3rd June 2013. The official opening by Sir Terry Pratchett took place on 22nd June 2013 at 11.00am.
March/April 2014: Chalke Valley Stores has been named as joint winner of the Countryside Alliance South West Region Award and national winner for Village Shops & Post Offices.
The Community Hub secretary, Michael Roe, said "As joint Regional Winners, Chalke Valley Stores had been entered as a UK Finalist but with little, or no, expectation of winning the national title. The judges, however, had taken a different view and the shop and post office was named as the best rural shop in the United Kingdom - less than a year after it opened - and against the stiffest competition."
The Telegraph published an article on 20th April 2014 which had two paragraphs relating to Broad Chalke:
The South West winner in the Post Offices and Village Shops category in this year's Countryside Alliance awards or "Rural Oscars", which are sponsored by The Daily Telegraph, was Chalke Valley Stores in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury. Here the church is a village shop, which turns over £1,000 each day, as well as the parish office, a café, a Knit and Natter for older residents and the local community police constable's office. The local architect, lawyers, and all the professionals needed for the project gave their services free.
Let's follow the example of Broad Chalke, acknowledge that our forefathers intended these great buildings to be more than places of occasional worship, and make our churches once more the centre of our rural communities; if God is angry then I am sure that the thunderbolts will not be long in coming. Chalke Valley Stores has not been hit by one yet.
Ellen Smets, the shop manager, supported by a small party of hub volunteers was invited to the House of Lords on Wednesday 30th April 2014 for the achievement to be recognised and to meet the DEFRA Secretary of State, Owen Patterson MP, along with Kate Hoey MP, Baroness Golding and Baroness Mallalieu. The Chalke Valley team was joined there by John Glen, local MP and longtime supporter of the project.
A further Telegraph article featuring interviews with photos of the hub, shop, police and archive personnel on 17th April 2014 was published on 3rd May 2014.
The total cost is estimated to be £163,000 and a major grant of £91,734 from Sowing Seeds (DEFRA) has now been received. Pledges for funding from individuals have now been called in.
Building works started on 25th February 2013 and the opening date for business will be on 3rd June 2013. The official opening will be on 22nd June 2013 at 11.00am.
The Chapel balcony has been extended slightly to give more area for the office and Archive and it allows space underneath for a Vestry and a cupboard for tables and another cupboard for the Knit and Natter Group.
The opening hours will be quite long for a few weeks, such as 8.30am to 6.00pm and Saturdays 8.30am to 4.00pm to see what times are busy and the hours may be cut later to suit the useage. The post office will be the same opening hours as at present (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9.00am to 1.00pm) and will be run by the manager of Fordingbridge post office for about six months until a replacement is found.
There will be two shop managers: Ellen Smets will be front-of-shop Retail Manager and Coffee Shop Manager and Nigel Tinkler will be Hub Manager for back office organisation.
There was a separate meeting for volunteers where the principles of good shop management were explained. Hands-on training sessions of about two hours will follow soon.
The current plan is to use the Chapel ground floor office and the adjoining meeting area (currently used for selling Fairtrade items) for a shop and post office area, with a wooden floor instead of the carpet. The dividing screen between the office and the meeting area will be removed but otherwise it will be untouched structurally. Counters and shelving and probably a glazed screen for the post office will be added. If the shop is closed a rear entrance will be used for worship, meetings, teas, Christmas Fairs, etc. in the worship area.
The existing worship area will be used as a café when not used for worship and will have a servery counter where the organ now is and a serving hatch through to the existing kitchen. This area could also be used as a meeting place for teenagers. (Comment: I would be a bit concerned about rowdy or noisy behaviour and also the security aspects being close to the shop, post office and archive when those areas are closed if the teenagers aren't supervised. In April 2012 I saw two children jump on my namesake's grave and they broke off a large chunk from the corner which cost me £240 to repair.)
The benefice and police office will move up onto the balcony and be divided from (or possibly share space with) the Archive.
Parking has been discussed with Wiltshire Council and a layby may be constructed opposite the Chapel. This would also assist bus passengers who presently alight onto soft wet grass.
The estimated cost of the initial alterations is £32,000 plus a grant of £83,000 from DEFRA. The Prince's Countryside Fund may also provide a grant. The stocking and fitting out of the shop and post office will need about £35,000 so the cost to the community will be about £67,000. Four methods of funding were set out:
Estimated shop turnover is £150,000 to £200,000pa (£500 to £600/day for a six day week).
An Industrial Provident Society will be set up to manage the shop which will pay a lower-than-market rent to URC Wessex. The shop will be non-profit making; any profit will be ploughed back into the shop or other local activities. There will be a full time manager and volunteer assistance. The parish council will not contribute to the running costs or rent as there will be no funding increase available from Wiltshire Council.
The Chapel and Church already have a sharing agreement for marriages and funerals so it is not expected that these will conflict with shop opening hours.
The post office is expected to open three mornings a week unless demand warrants an increase. The post office will continue to be managed by the Fordingbridge Post Office as an Outreach Service and Sue Fry may continue to run the post office until soon after the move.
A footpath from the Church path to North Street is also being considered.
Latest News from the Post Office leaflet in the post office. The Broad Chalke post office will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm with an Outreach Hosted Service. [2013 Note: it is now open additionally on Friday mornings.] It started this new service on 8th September 2009. In the run-up to Christmas it will be open on Thursday afternoons from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm and on Saturday mornings from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.
The same range of services will continue to be available with the addition of DVLA facilities. Customers will still be able to collect benefits in cash using the everyday banking services or the Post Office's card account.
Local Public Consultation to determine the precise services to be provided continued until 20th May 2009 but you could still contact FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM (no stamp required) or telephone 08457 223344 or Textphone 08457 223355 or email email@example.com to contribute your views.
Sue Fry will continue to be our postmistress. [2013 Note; Richard James is now the principal postmaster assisted by Sue Fry.]
Previous News from The Broadsheet February 2009:- An Outreach Hosted Service with reduced hours of 11 hours per week operating from the same cubicle in the Village Shop is still The Post Office's preferred option but at the present time two potential Core Sub Postmasters have turned down the opportunity to administer the service. The Post Office agreed to check whether the recent business levels justified more than 11 hours per week. The service will continue as normal until further notice.
November 2008 News from The Broadsheet November 2008:- The Post Office plans to offer a full service (including Motor Vehicle Licences) for three sessions per week at the present post office counter in the shop, starting in the New Year. In essence customers will continue to enjoy the full range of Post Office services but for fewer hours per week. If the level of business justifies longer hours at some point this may be possible. The core Manager at Sixpenny Handley will be in charge but it is not known yet whether Sue Fry will be employed as the person actually operating the service. It will probably be three mornings a week, similar to the Hosted Outreach Service.
Extract from The Post Office's decision 22/02/08 in the West Berkshire and Wiltshire decision booklet:-
Post Office® Broad Chalke branch
Respondents raised a variety of issues during the local public consultation in relation to our proposals for this branch. Respondents raised concerns in relation to the possible impact of closure of this branch on vulnerable customer groups, in particular the elderly, since there is no direct bus service to alternative branches. The additional cost required to travel, the distance involved and risks associated with accessing alternative branches were also concerns raised by respondents. Respondents commented on the environmental impact of car journeys to alternative branches and a petition opposing the proposed closure was also submitted.
Having regard to all comments received during the local public consultation and all other relevant factors, Post Office Ltd has decided to proceed with the closure of this branch and to replace it with an Outreach Service. The proposed outreach service will be subject to a further 6 week period of local public consultation. Details of this consultation will be announced shortly.
Many people in Broad Chalke have received an email from Robert Key MP as follows:-
Yesterday afternoon I was contacted at The House of Commons and informed about all the closure and outreach proposals in our constituency. I immediately spoke by telephone to the Post Office consultation staff to express my grave concern about the Broadchalke proposal. Once again, the business case is secret. However, I was told there is a choice of two alternative ?outreach? locations in Broadchalke. I argued strongly for the status quo ? and I think I convinced the official. Now she must convince the others.
If I may suggest it, the first thing to ensure is that Sue Fry wants to keep the business in the shop. If she does, then we all need to say so, loud and clear, to the PO.
Best wishes from Robert.
Robert Key FSA
Member of Parliament for Salisbury
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
The extent of an Outreach Service is subject to consultation but we already know that a Hosted Service cannot be more than 12 hours a week so if the status quo is not maintained then the pressure will be on to persuade a shop, public house or other business to provide a Partner Service with longer hours.
8th March 2008: Essex County Council have offered to buy all the post offices in their area in order to keep them open; I wonder if Wiltshire County Council will offer to do the same?
8th May 2008: The six week extended consultation period has now been exceeded and no decision has been made, but it seems that there are discussions on how the village shop could operate a revised form of Partner Outreach Service which would retain the separate post office within the shop like it is now, rather than have the service operated by the shopkeeper from the shop counter.
Even older news:-
Post Office Ltd has reviewed Wiltshire post offices with the intention to close some of them. The review finished on 10th December and the impending closure was discussed at the Parish Council meeting on 12th December and there was a public meeting on 9th January 2008. See this report in the Salisbury Journal dated 12th December 2007 which states that it is proposed to replace the post office with Outreach services.
Outreach is a means by which Post Office products and services are provided by a 'core' subpostmaster (who already operates a post office branch in a community) to outlying communities.
As part of the Area Plan for West Berkshire and Wiltshire, Post Office Ltd is proposing to close Broad Chalke post office branch on a permanent basis and to mitigate the impact of the proposed closure we propose to put in place an Outreach service point for 11 hours per week.
There are four types of Outreach service: Mobile, Hosted, Partner and Home. Letters commenting on the proposals must be received by Post Office Ltd by 31st January 2008. Consultations will then take place and a final decision will be made about 22nd February 2008. The chosen Outreach service is due to start on 1st April 2008. The Hosted or Partner service is currently proposed by the Post Office.
The Mobile Service is a travelling post office situated within a van operated by the core subpostmaster or his assistants that will visit small communities at set times and days each week to deliver certain Post Office products and services to customers.
The Hosted Service is a fixed site post office from which the core subpostmaster or his assistants transact certain Post Office products and services during restricted hours each week. The premises are owned by a third party, for example, a shop or community centre. Eleven hours per week has been offered, the services will be more restricted than they are now and the "core subpostmaster or his assistants" is unlikely to be the same person as we have now. It is understood that twelve hours a week is the maximum for the Hosted Service. The Partner Service is recommended for more than twelve hours a week.
The Partner Service is a fixed site post office where a local partner (such as a pub landlord) appointed by the core postmaster, transacts certain Post Office products and services from the partner's own premises during the opening hours of the business. In other words a shop or pub owner could provide the services. It would be run from the shop or pub counter as part of the normal shop or pub business. The shop or pub personnel would undergo training and use a simplified Post Office computer on the counter.
The Hosted and Partner Services would both provide cash and paying in services and basic postal services but not special delivery and would not take parcels over 2kg.
The Home Service is a service for very small communities whereby the core subpostmater delivers a range of Post Office products and services which are ordered over the telephone by customers.
Coombe Bissett post office is likely to become a Partner Service in the shop there. Post Offices in Wilton, Tisbury, Fovant, Dinton, Fonthill Bishop and Sixpenny Handley have not been included in the proposed changes but none of these is on a bus route from Broad Chalke and all have difficult narrow roads and steep hills on their routes. Parking will be difficult at Coombe Bissett if that post office has traffic from elsewhere in the Chalke Valley.
See the Save Broad Chalke Post Office website for details and a petition that you can sign.
Objections should be sent to
Tim Nickolls, Network Development Manager, Post Office Ltd., FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM
POSTWATCH, FREEPOST Postwatch
Mr Robert Key, MP, 12 Brown Street, Salisbury SP1 1HE
A public meeting was held in the Village Hall on 9th January 2008 chaired by Tom Hitchings, chairman of the Parish Council. Tony Deane, our County Councillor, attended and also Anne Carney of Cranborne Chase AONB (the Local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Post Office Ltd did not send a representative and Robert Key MP was unable to attend. Tom said that Post Office Ltd had apparently not received a letter from the Parish Council and as the only contact address available was FREEPOST there appeared to be no way of contacting any specific person or hand-delivering a letter. The hall was full with a few people standing; about 180 people in total. I only saw one person obviously under age 50; the vast majority seemed to be over age 65.
Sue Fry, who runs our post office, outlined the Hosted Outreach Service proposals of eleven hours a week and the possible reduced service including no special delivery and no parcels over 2kg. A Hosted Service could be in a hall or community centre but the shop provides the best location for us.
If the Partner Outreach Service was chosen a shop or pub manager here would be under the supervision of the "core subpostmaster" at Tisbury and need training to use a simplified Post Office computer terminal.
Broad Chalke has about 637 residents and the total population of the Chalke Valley villages excluding Coombe Bissett is about 2000. About 260 people use the post office each week and Sue works 26 hours, an average of six minutes each. If the Hosted Service of eleven hours is forced upon us the average time for each person would be two and a half minutes and there would be no scope for increasing numbers in the future.
Sue said that although three post offices in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire had managed to escape their proposed changes, this did not mean that three others elsewhere would need to be added to the list to maintain the level of cost saving, nor that we had a better chance because three others had managed to escape the change. Each office would be considered on its merits and one of the key considerations was that no one should be more than three miles from a post office.
We need to emphasise to Post Office Ltd the fact that our post office is the only one along over thirteen miles of the valley and travel to others is along narrow roads with steep hills and that there is no bus service to any except Coombe Bissett which would be well over three miles from villages further up the valley.
The representative of AONB said that we should make Post Office Ltd aware of the demographics of our area. We almost certainly have a higher than average proportion of elderly residents who would probably have difficulty travelling to another post office.
It was emphasised that Post Office Ltd is primarily concerned with the financial implications and political, environmental or social aspects will have little weight.
Post Office Ltd have not shown any inclination to consider any options other than the four Outreach Service options. However, as a last resort the Parish Council might offer to reimburse the loss. No figures are available but it is estimated to be about £6,000 per annum. If this was raised on the two thousand residents in the chalke valley via Parish Council tax it would only be about £3 each per annum. Bearing in mind that most people would travel to another post office by car if our post office happened to be closed when they want to use it, spending £3 on petrol each week, the carbon footprint benefits of keeping our post office open 26 hours a week are clear.