Following a consultation with business partners and local stakeholder groups in the area, Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) has confirmed that it will not seek a replacement sub postmaster in St Johns when the current one steps down on 31st December 2019.
Sub postmaster Rob Knighton announced his resignation from the role in May and agreed an extended closure period until the end of the year. However with falling transactions and footfall at post offices across the Island, the IOMPO Board believes there is not a financially viable counter based service for IOMPO and a sub postmaster to operate in the village beyond this date.
Julie Edge MHK, Chairman of IOMPO, said: “While it is not realistic to offer a counter-based service in St Johns, the Board and I are pleased that the retail owner of the village shop has agreed to host a postal kiosk and parcel drop off facility to retain a sustainable and affordable service in the community, which will continue footfall from postal customers for her business. The kiosk facilitates payment services on behalf of our corporate and public sector customers, including; parking fines, social housing rent, Manx Telecom etc. as well as the ability to buy postage and weigh and pay for items. All these services will be able to be paid for by using either cash or card methods. Usage of the kiosk will be closely monitored. The post box outside will also remain in place, with the collection times remaining unchanged. Our postal workers will call into the store to collect any parcels customers have posted via the kiosk.”
In other areas on the Island where a sub postmaster has resigned, IOMPO has seen material usage increases in the surrounding sub post offices, making these offices more sustainable for their operators.
Ms Edge continued: “Contraction of the number of sub post offices is in the best interests of sustaining counter services in the local area, with Peel and Foxdale, both less than 3 miles from St Johns, most likely to benefit from an increase in counter services no longer available in St Johns. We are grateful to Mr Knighton for continuing to operate in St Johns longer than his notice period, and wish to thank him for his commitment to offering postal services in the community during his time as sub postmaster. We wish him well for the future.”
Mary Gaffney, General Manager for Retail & Customer Services, of IOMPO, said: “Ahead of the closure we are ensuring the needs of customers are met and wish to ensure steps are taken to make the transition for customers to collect welfare payments from a different nominated post office is as smooth as possible. MiCard customers can, if they wish, choose to nominate a person to collect benefits/pensions on their behalf by way of a proxy. The Social Security Division has written to all their MiCard customers explaining the process they should follow.”