Cotherstone residents asked for views over possible take-over of village shop
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A PUBLIC meeting to see whether there is enough interest for a village shop and post office to be operated “by the community for the community” will be held.
Two months ago Cotherstone Parish Council discussed the idea of the village making a bid for the post office and shop after being approached by owners Adam Alston and Karolina Szyluk.
The couple, who bought the business in 2016, put the business on the market last year.
They approached the parish council about the idea of the community taking over because of the lack of market interest. A public meeting on Monday, September 16, at Cotherstone village hall will start at 7pm.
The council has also produced a questionnaire, which will be hand delivered to each household in the village to gauge whether there is sufficient interest. The questionnaire has also been uploaded to the council’s website and is on the post office’s social media page.
Parish clerk Judith Mashiter said: “We wanted to reach everyone who uses the shop from the wider community. There are just ten simple questions for people to think about.”
She added: “Since the article in the Mercury in July there has been lots of interest about the possibility. The questionnaire is the first step in a process. We need to know what people’s views arre and we want people to be honest and as realistic as possible.”
When completed residents can either email the questionnaires to clerk@cotherstone
parishcouncil.org.uk or drop them into the post office before September 20.
Ms Mashiter added: “The questionnaire and the initial meeting to explore the community-run shop and post office idea is being organised by Cotherstone Parish Council, but if the enterprise is to be taken forward it is envisaged that a steering group will be established and be independent of the council.”
The questionnaire can be found at www.cotherstoneparishcouncil.org.uk or at facebook.com/CotherstonePO/