RESIDENTS in Stocksfield have been left confused by delays in the opening of a new post office in the village.

The post office at Boots the chemist on Branch End closed on Friday, March 16, and the new post office, at the Spar at Branch End Service Station, was due to open on the same day.

Customers were promised a post office serving point in the store, alongside a retail till.

The services were to be available seven days a week during the store’s opening hours, from 6am to 9pm from Monday to Sunday, meaning an increase in opening hours to 105 hours a week.

However, at the meeting of Broomley and Stocksfield Parish Council on Monday, night, councillors said the new post office facilities were yet to open.

Chairman of the parish council, Coun. Maggi Hunt, said that while the equipment appeared to be in place, there had been no explanation as to why the service had not opened.

Coun. Julia Robson added: “The staff said they don’t even know what is going on. They said they haven’t been trained yet.”

The Post Office is signposting residents to other post office services in Prudhoe and Corbridge.

But Coun. Hunt added: “I am intrigued as to why they have got a notice telling people that the nearest post office is Prudhoe and Corbridge, when they have actually got a post office right opposite the station.”

A spokesman for the Post Office said: “There have been a few technical issues with the installation of the equipment at the new location which are currently being resolved and we hope to open the branch very soon.

“We know how important post office services are to people in Stocksfield and we apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.”

The spokesman said an expected opening date could not be given.