So, finally, good sense has prevailed. After what seems like an absolute age, we can report today how the Post Office has entered into talks about moving Gosport’s main branch into the nearby library.
For years people in the town have had to put up with a branch that looked like a building site, with parts of it boarded up and in disrepair.
It has made a visit there a rather depressing affair, not just because of the drab surroundings but also because the hoardings restrict the amount of space for customers to queue.
Until now, the urgings of The News, the Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook have fallen on deaf ears.
Everybody agreed that something really ought to be done – except those in the Post Office organisation who had the power to make decisions.
But now we can reveal that the penny has, at last, dropped and the Post Office is looking to leave behind its eyesore branch and move to the Gosport Discovery Centre, run by Hampshire County Council as part of its library service.
About time too. As Cllr Hook says, both the staff and the public deserve far better conditions than they’ve had to put up with in the High Street branch.
It’s five long years since work started to refurbish the interior, only for it to come to a grinding halt. Ever since then, things have not improved.
Indeed, Cllr Hook has been extremely blunt about the state of the place, saying it’s ‘frankly a disgrace’.
Moving to a library is quite a novel approach, but we think it can work well.
Libraries these days are about much more than books. They are being developed as community hubs, providing a range of services such as adult learning and free internet access and holding exhibitions.
And if post offices can operate from shops and pubs, why not libraries? Then there’s the potential benefit for the Discovery Centre in that the post office could bring in more visitors.