A SEASIDE post office, at threat of closure following a £600 loss after alleged sleight-of-hand fraud, will stay open after all.

Staff at New Quay post office were the victim of a sleight-of-hand fraud on July 11, to the tune of £600.

Sub-Postmaster John Barrett said the fraud was only detected by painstaking repeated viewing of CCTV footage.

The incident was reported to the Post Office's security organisation Grapevine and to the police.

“The Post Office help desk has told me I am liable for the loss - this is despite my contract clearly stating that I am not liable for losses caused by criminal activity by a third party," said John. "They cite not following procedures as the reason - I argue we did.”

After initially being told he would be liable for the loss, John felt he had no option left but to shut the post office part of his The Corner Shop business.

“New Quay post office only just breaks even financially and I was willing to run it as a service to the community.

“The next nearest post office is three miles away and the nearest banks are a 45-minute car journey away. The local community relies on us to function and without it the whole community will be seriously affected.”

However, there was a happy ending just a day later, which John attributes to the support of the local community.

John said: “My area manager called with the opening line: ‘What can the Post Office do to allow you to re-open?”

He said it was agreed he would not now be held liable for the loss, with senior talks over how to deal with similar situations, should they arise in future.

John said: “A big thank you for the fantastic support shown by everyone, including my area manager who deserves a pay rise.”

Speaking on Tuesday, July 16, a Post Office spokesman said: “We were very concerned to hear about the issue faced by Mr Barrett our postmaster at New Quay. We have listened carefully to the concerns raised and we have been liaising with him to resolve this matter as quickly as possible. We are pleased to confirm that New Quay Post Office will reopen tomorrow. We understand how important a Post Office can be to a community and we are delighted that services have been be restored to New Quay.”