FEARS are growing that Billericay’s High Street Post Office will close before a new site is found, despite a campaign to keep the service in the town.

Last November, it was confirmed that the High Street One Stop would close and as a result the Post Office counter inside the shop would be lost.

Residents, councillors and MPs have been pushing for a new tenant to take on the shop or for an alternative location to be found in a bid to ensure “vital” over the counter services remain in the high street.

However, Andrew Schrader, Conservative candidate for Billericay East, has admitted he is feeling “less confident” despite the campaign.

He said: “Our conversations with the Post Office have been constructive and positive.

“We have had two meetings, and everyone remains focused on retaining counter services in Billericay High Street.

“While the Post Office’s clear preference would be for the branch to remain in its current location at 93-95 High Street, it does seem increasingly likely that the premises is simply going to be too large and too costly for many operators. But we are continuing to explore this option.

“Meanwhile, the council is proactively working with the Post Office to look at smaller premises available in the High Street.

“That said, I am much less confident than when we first met with the Post Office earlier in the year that we will have a replacement up and running in time before the One Stop closes in November.”

Mr Schrader has been working on the discussions alongside John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay, and current leader of the council Andrew Baggott.

“I don’t want to leave residents with the impression that this is all some kind of foregone conclusion,” he added. “I am having to work quite hard on it and there are some knotty problems to unpick before we will have a really clear way forward that I would have confidence in.”

Andrew Schrader is running in Billericay East. Other candidates are: Andy Barnes (Con), Andrew Brennan (Green) Sally Bunyan (Lab), Laura Clark, (Lib Dem) Stewart Goshawk (Green), Martyn Mordecai (Con), Peter Smith (Liberal Dem) and Andy Tatman (Green)