Pauline Latham MP for Mid Derbyshire cut the ribbon last Friday (24 July) at the official opening of Spondon Post Office in Derbyshire, Midlands region with Postmaster Salam Omeri.
Spondon branch had been temporarily closed since a major gas attack on the ATM at the previous premises down the road in Spondon in October 2018. A temporary Post Office service has operated since then to maintain service until a permanent Post Office could reopen.
The Premier convenience store has been operated by Salam Omeri and his business partner Ibrahim Muhamad for the past eight years.
Postmaster Salam Omeri said: “Our new Post Office is going really well. The community is very pleased to have a full-time Post Office again as it saves them the need to travel to Derby or elsewhere. A quarter of the residents in Spondon are retired and many don’t have transport, so it is very important for them as they rely on this Post Office. People can also do their banking here on behalf of all the major banks as there is no longer a bank in Spondon.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has meant that many more people are also shopping locally, rather than travelling to the supermarkets and I am proud to say that we never ran out of any stock, unlike the supermarkets. The Post Office and the shop complement each other. People come into use the Post Office and many shop at the same time and vice versa”.
Pauline Latham MP said: “I am delighted for my constituents to have a full-time Post Office in Spondon again. I want to thank Salam Omeri for taking on the Post Office at his store. The ATM attack on the previous Post Office caused major issues for this village as a Post Office offers so many vital services and is at the heart of a community. We are grateful for the Postmaster for Linton providing a mobile Post Office service twice a week.”
The new Spondon Post Office is delighted to welcome customers. Ian Johnson, Change Manager, said: “We are delighted to have restored a full-time Post Office service to Spondon. We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.
“The opening of this branch was unfortunately delayed by the pandemic. However, the Postmaster and Post Office were very keen to restore service as soon as possible. Spondon was the first branch involved in a trial for introducing a new way for our trainers to remotely provide the necessary training for our new Postmaster and his staff whilst following social distancing guidelines. Salam Omeri, had already undergone classroom training and we had been very close to opening this branch just before lockdown. Unfortunately one of our trainers had coronavirus symptoms and was unable to attend the branch to provide in-branch training. We sincerely thank the Postmaster and the community for their patience”.