LIBERAL Democrat Councillors in Sunniside village, Gateshead, have launched a petition calling on Gateshead Council to allow a cash machine to be installed at the front of the post office in the village.
Plans to put the free to use, 24 hour machine into the village post office, were first submitted to Gateshead Council in December 2006, but were rejected by planning officers following concerns raised by highways officers.
But Councillor Jonathan Wallace took up the case after the branch’s postmaster contacted him about the rejection.
As a result, it was agreed that the application could be resubmitted and considered by Gateshead’s Planning Committee, made up of councillors from across the area.
“I was surprised the application was rejected first time round,” said Jonathan. “Highways officers were concerned however that there could be traffic problems on the Front Street as the post office is next to a pedestrian crossing.
“However, in Whickham, we have a Lloyds cash machine next to the Front Street junction with Church Chare which also has a pedestrian crossing. So it would seem reasonable to allow a cash machine to go into the post office in Sunniside, next to the crossing.
“Many post offices are under considerable pressure as the government has taken away much of their trade. So we need to find new business for branches to ensure they can have a fighting chance of survival.
“A cash machine at the front of the Sunniside branch will be a boost for the post office and for residents of the village.
“I have launched the petition to get a show of public support for the proposal.”