A COMMUNITY centre in Barton could house a temporary Post Office as residents urge the service is re-opened on the estate.

Space at Barton Community Centre could be offered to the Post Office following the closure of the Underhill Circus branch on February 18 after the resignation of the sub postmaster.

The premises are no longer available for use.

Community leaders say re-opening a service quickly is “imperative” as many elderly residents struggle to travel to alternative branches in Headington and Risinghurst.

In a separate move, Liberal Democrat councillors have also called for local authorities in Oxfordshire to join forces with the Post Office and offer services from combined locations.

Secretary of the Barton Community Association Sue Holden said the closure was a huge issue for many on the estate.

The idea of offering space in the community centre, also in Underhill Circus, was discussed at the association’s last meeting.

Mrs Holden added: “If it meant they (the Post Office) were happy to operate a reduced service then that is something that could be considered. It is imperative there is some level of service on offer especially for those people who are less mobile.”

But Mrs Holden said residents wanted a solution as soon as possible and many felt they were in limbo.

Post Office spokesman Richard Hall told the Oxford Mail: “We welcome any offer that will help us restore Post Office services to Underhill Circus.

“We look forward to hearing in more detail what Barton Community Association can offer and we will obviously discuss with them in more detail what would be involved in accommodating a Post Office branch.”

Meanwhile, Oxfordshire County and Oxford City councillor Jean Fooks has urged local authorities and the Post Office to combine forces to run services from joint locations.

The Summertown councillor said a scheme was running in Sheffield, where services such as paying council tax and rent have been offered alongside regular post office services.

Mrs Fooks said: “It is really good, positive stuff which wouldstop branches being closed and hopefully re-open some as well.”