THE Post Office has come under fire from Gosport’s MP for leaving the town’s main branch in a state of disrepair.
For years the post office in the High Street has been boarded up, with little space for customers to queue.
Now, Caroline Dinenage is asking the company to do something about what she says is ruining the appearance of the town centre. It comes as Ms Dinenage is trying to convince the government to use Gosport as a pilot town to undergo changes proposed by TV retail expert Mary Portas to help dying high streets.
‘Lack of investment and general appearance and infrastructure of certain shops along the high street can bring down the whole experience of shopping,’ she said.
‘It can bring down the shops around it and it can leave the shopper with a negative experience.
‘It’s a franchise post office. It always seems to be between owners. But meanwhile, the customers are suffering.
‘It’s a horrible shopping experience and it’s bringing down the appearance of the whole town centre.’
There were plans to redevelop the post office, by bringing in a new convenience store.
But despite hoarding going up, no work has ever been carried out.
Lib Dem councillor Peter Chegwyn said: ‘It’s shocking.
‘It’s been like that for well over two years now – a half finished building site. It’s a disgrace.
‘I totally support what Caroline is doing. It’s unfair on staff and everyone complains about it in Gosport – a complete eyesore.’
Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, who also owns a business near to the post office, said it was ‘frustrating’.
But he said the authority’s hands were tied.
‘Whilst we can ask them we can’t dictate to them,’ he said. ‘It’s awful. I feel sorry for the people that work in the post office. They receive complaints on a daily basis.’
The Post Office told The News that they don’t own the building and they are still looking for a buyer to take on the site and use it as a post office permanently.
In the mean time, they are looking to make temporary alterations to improve the appearance.
In a statement spokesman Mike Norman said: ‘We always seek to provide a high quality service to our customers and will address concerns raised by our customers.
‘In the meantime, we will continue to work hard to identify a more sustainable, long term solution for a Post Office service in Gosport.’