Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr Alan Bates, Llandudno

  In response to your request for further information about Penrhynside Post Office, I have listed below, in chronological order, the events as I now recall them.

  The vacancy for someone to run that Post Office was first brought to my attention by an article which appeared in The North Wales Weekly News on 18 May, a copy of that article is enclosed (not printed). As we employed a number of part-time staff, some of whom were available to undertake extra hours if required, I was wiling to consider running the Penrhynside Post Office as an extension to our main business in Craig-y-Don. It was very much a community gesture and whilst I did not expect to make any profit from taking Penrhynside on board, I did have to ensure I could meet all the costs associated with that office from its' Post Office salary.

  To investigate further this possibility I contacted the Post Office's Retail Network Manager for that office, Mr John Emlyn Hughes, and spoke to him about what was required. We discussed the opening hours and the office salary and though at this point, a number of months on, I cannot recall the exact hours or the exact salary for that office, I can clearly remember that the funding available would have just covered all the expenses bar the £10 a week rent he informed me that the current premises owner required.

  I recollect that the conversation ended on a note that, at that time, other people had expressed an interest, but as yet no formal applications had been received, but I did say I would still be willing to assist if there was a way that would not cost me money.

  That was really how the matter was left, and it was not until a Post Office training session at The Marine Hotel one evening a number of weeks later, that I met John Emlyn Hughes and during a tea break I asked him what was happening about the Penrhynside office. I seem to recall I was informed that a replacement had not been found for the office and there was every likelihood the office would be closed. Again I did comment that if the viability was there, then I would still be willing to consider taking over the office.

  The only other occasion I discussed this matter during this period was in response to a telephone call from Gareth Jones AM who had contacted me following an approach to him from one of our regular customers, a Mr Hughes, who though now retired had held a senior post with the Post Office. I understand Mr Hughes had suggested to Gareth Jones that I might have been able to assist in some way with the Penrhynside office. In my conversation with Gareth Jones I am sure I informed him I had been in touch with the Retail Network Manager about Penrhynside and that under the current financial arrangement for that office it was unviable for us to consider taking it over.

  I have done my best to recall the details about my limited involvement with the Penrhynside Post Office, but it was almost a year ago and I did not keep a file or notes about it.

16 February 2001

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