Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hole in the wall celebration

A village that fought to get a hole-in-the-wall cash machine in the local post office will celebrate its opening this weekend.

The Post Office in Sunniside, Gateshead, applied to have a cash machine installed at the front of the shop in 2007 but Gateshead’s Labour councillors kicked out the application. They claimed that as it was on a front street, it would attract traffic.

But an appeal, backed by the village’s Lib Dem Councillor, Jonathan Wallace, saw the decision immediately overturned by government planning inspectors earlier this year.

Plans to install the machine had to be put on hold over the summer whilst consultation took place on the Government’s Post Office closure programme.

Now, the machine is in place and this Saturday, 15th November, at 11.30am, outside the Post Office, Councillors Wallace, Marilynn Ord, John McClurey and Peter Maughan will join Sunniside Postmaster Paul Mein to cut a ribbon to launch the cash machine.

“At a time when Post Offices are under threat of closure, we need to do all we can to help them stay in business,” said Cllr Wallace. “The cash machine will boost the Post Office and the village.

“It will be the only 24 hour, free-to-use cash machine in the village. Other shops in the village centre will therefore feel the benefits as well.”

Residents of Sunniside are welcome to attend the event.

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