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Councillor bids for under-threat Burntwood post office

By Tom Oakley | Burntwood | News | Published:

A bid to save a town's main post office from being lost has been launched by a local councillor who hopes to buy and run the service himself.

Darren Ennis

Councillor Darren Ennis is determined not to see the loss of the Sankey's Corner service in Burntwood after it was put on the market by its current owner.

It comes after news that the town will be left without a bank following the expected closure of the Barclays in June and HSBC already shut – raising concerns there will be no-where to access financial services nearby.

Labour councillor Ennis, who runs blind and curtain manufacturer Haywoods Contracts, has had a bid accepted for the Cannock Road service.

But the post office could still be under threat after a planning application to change the use of the building into a dental surgery was submitted by another bidder.

He said: "We had all our banks close and we were told by our MP Michael Fabricant not to worry about them because we've got the post offices.

"But they aren't safe and secure. The one at Sankey's Corner – which I've bid for – is up for sale as well as one at Swan Island.

"The one in Chasetown is based in Bargain Booze and with the firm that owns the chain going into administration you can't be sure of its future.

"I decided to put in a bid to retain it as a post office. Being the councillor for the local area I spoke to a lot of local businesses and with the closure of HSBC they've seen a massive drop in footfall and if the post office goes it will be the final nail in the coffin."

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Councillor Ennis says the current owner inherited the business from his son and is hoping to retire in the near future.

It is understood that Lichfield District Council councillors will make a decision on whether to give the go ahead to change the building into a dentist in the next few weeks.

If he wins the fight to own the building, he says he and his wife will both be 'postmasters' and run the service as a partnership.

Councillor Ennis added: "People in Burntwood are really upset. Now our main post office has got a good chance of going and the others aren't 100 per cent.

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"People I've never met are coming up and stopping me saying thank you.

"It just shows how passionate people are. There is an elderly population here and someone has got to do something save the service."

A Halifax also used to be on Lichfield Road before its closure.

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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