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Members of Brightwell Village Stores will get their chance to vote on whether  a Post Office should operate through the shop on Tuesday February 2nd. Voting will be by secret ballot at an extraordinary meeting in the Village Hall starting at 7 pm.

The management committee writes:

"The Management Committee have called a meeting to take a secret ballot of Members on the proposal to accept the contract for a Post Office Local in the Shop.The Management Committee supports this proposal as a sound and community venture, and in the knowledge that after twelve months the contract will be reviewed and if the contract is not a success, six months notice can be given, without penalties being applied.

'On 19th January the Management Committee received a twelve Member written requisition for an Extraordinary meeting of Members be held to examine the proposal. As our Rules require that this be held within 14 days of the notice, this meeting will be held at 7 pm on 2nd February, 2016 before the voting meeting.

'We hope whichever way the vote goes we can count on the support of staff, volunteers and customers to continue to grow our community shop for the benefit of all those that live in the village.'

In an open letter to the committee, published on the Brightwell Website blog, Garry McCracken writes that he is puzzled about the lack of financial information included in the leaflet distributed to shop members.

'You quote the projected amount of income the shop expects to get, (presumably this is from the commission on the Post Office sales) but you do not state what annual expenditure you expect. Surely what is required is a proper business plan before the shop members can take such an important decision?

'I feel that it is unseemly haste to rush the decision through when you have only allowed the minimum time to the EGM meeting and that you propose not to consider questions at the meeting. Why will questions not be considered?'

Celia Collett, Chairman of the Management Committee, has replied:

'Thank you for your questions, we can assure you that there is no additional annual expenditure directly attributable to the post office as all the stock required for the service is provided by the post office, at no cost to the shop. The stock always belongs to the post office and is replenished as required. If the shop decides to stock additional items such as stationery, upon which there is a very good mark-up, then this would of course be at a cost, as would any other shop stock.

'We confirm that the income referred to is commission on Post Office services provided.

'Regarding a business plan; we were required to produce a three year business plan and to provide three years previous accounts as part of the application last year. These were then inspected by the Post Office financial department. We were only invited to interview on the grounds that the application and the financial information was sound. At interview this soundness was checked further before the contract was offered.'
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