Usk residents are set to be hit with a double-closure to vital services after the Post Office announced it would be closing, alongside a local bank branch.

After Barclays confirmed it would shutter the Usk branch, news broke that the Post Office was also set to close — causing concern for residents reliant on those services.

Both local MP David Davies, and Assembly Member Nick Ramsay, met with Barclays representatives last week to try and convince them to reconsider their plans but were unsuccessful. ?

?“They were unwilling to consider keeping the branch open,” said Mr Davies.

“They are certainly willing to see Barclays banking facilities being operated from a local Post Office. Obviously the Post Office is also due to close, but we have now met their representatives to discuss other options in Usk.

“I am hopeful that we might see the Post Office open elsewhere in Usk and if this is confirmed, then Barclays is open to a discussion about the timing of the closure.”??

The Post Office is due to close on September 26 when the current post mistress retires. At the moment an alternative site has not been agreed.

Stuart Taylor, Head of external relations for Wales, said that Post Office Local is looking for anyone with a commercial premise in Usk who might want to generate an extra income running a Post Office, and IS already in discussions with some potential sites, though, he admitted there is little chance that a new Post Office will open straight after the existing one closes.

“I would like to reassure everyone that we are totally committed to opening a Post Office in Usk, ideally with a retailer already open in the town.”

David Davies said the cure to the problem could lie in a current business or establishment taking on post office services, with the help of the Post Office.

“The long-term solution to this issue is for an existing retailer to open a Post Office.

“There are 650 people a week using the Usk premises at the moment and a Post Office would be paid something for every transaction, which will provide any existing Usk business with a perfect opportunity to develop their business further with the added benefit of a Post Office customer base that continues to grow.”

“There is the facility of having a mobile service, and Nick Ramsay and I have asked the Post Office to supply this service in the intervening period to ensure some cover is available.”

Nick Ramsay AM said the closures would force some creative thinking amongst parties involved, before arguing that Usk residents must not be left without services.

“With the bank closing as well this is a double-whammy for Usk.

“It is vital that the people of Usk have unbroken access to banking and Post Office services now and in the future.”??

Mr Davies added, “I would encourage anyone who might be interested to contact Neil Jenkins, Area Network Manager at the Post Office on: [email protected] or telephone 07889 045812.”