A VITAL community post office has been saved after plans were announced to house it in a library which had been earmarked for closure.

Prettygate’s post office had been functioning from inside a McColl’s newsagents, in The Commons, Colchester, until last month when the shop closed its doors for good.

Earlier this year, when the closure was announced, a fight began to secure what was described as a “crucial facility” a new home.

Read more >>> Plan for post office to move into Prettygate Library criticised

A pub had been touted as a possible temporary base but now it has been revealed Prettygate library will host the post office.

The library was one of 25 which was earmarked for closure under Essex County Council’s plans to reshape the service.

After a backlash, the authority instead pledged to not close any libraries for five years and to pump £3 million of investment into the service.

In June 2019, Prettygate ward councillor Sue Lissimore resigned from her county council cabinet post in protest over the closure plan.

She said: “In Prettygate, we have no community centre, no village hall, and the only community hub we have is our library.

“We have to make it up to date for the 21st century, we have to make it relevant.

“We want to protect our books and library services, but we also want people to walk through the door.”

She added: “We are still looking to see if we can find a building for it to go in where the hours can be longer but I am just ecstatic that Prettygate has got its post office back.

“The queues at other post offices have been substantially longer, we lost our Barclays bank a year ago, people in Prettygate need this service.”

The relocated post office is set to open on Wednesday, although Mrs Lissimore branded this date “optimistic”.

She said: “Essex County Council just needs permission from the owner of the building as they lease the library, although I don’t anticipate problems.”

It will operate reduced hours, opening on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am until 5pm, remaining closed over the weekend and on Monday.

“I know how vital this post office is, we will continue to look for a permanent home,” said Mrs Lissimore.