A PERMANENT post office has opened in Hay-on-Wye after five months of temporary set-ups.

Mayor Syd Morris stepped in to see the post office return after postmaster of 35 years Steve Like retired, closing the branch.

The local chamber of commerce said in April that not having a post office would be "horrible", with the border town having lost its three banks in a decade.

But the new and permanent post office opened on November 16 at Country Supplies in Oxford Road, run by Cllr Morris.

Mr Like, 71, was on hand to officially open the new post office, which he said was "at the heart of the community" again after he retired in July.

He said: "I congratulate Syd Morris for taking on a permanent post office for Hay-on-Wye and becoming the postmaster.

"I was 71 years old and I needed to retire. My last year had been very tiring with the pandemic.

"The town is delighted to have a permanent solution. A post office really is at the heart of a community and it offers so many essential services and its role has grown in providing vital banking services.”

All the usual services are available, and Cllr Morris said a branch in the town was essential so he "had to step forward".

He said the town was appreciative to have a post office again.

“The town knew that Steve wanted to retire as postmaster, but we needed someone to come forward to take it on," Cllr Morris said.

"When I became Mayor in May I had no idea that discussions would lead to the branch moving to my store and now me becoming the postmaster.

“I now need to juggle managing the shop, post office and my mayoral duties. Thankfully I have two very experienced people working in the post office and with the pandemic there are fewer events to attend as Mayor."

The new, permanent opening hours for Hay-on-Wye post office are Monday to Saturday from 9am until 5pm.

There are two counters alongside the retail counter of the shop which sells souvenir, gifts, stationery pet food, kitchenware and hardware.