In 2012, the residents of the small village of Mells in Somerset, England, took over their local post office after the Royal Mail announced plans to close it due to budget cuts. The post office had been a vital community resource for over a century, providing a range of postal and banking services.
The residents formed a community group called the Mells Post Office Association, which secured funding from grants and donations to purchase the post office from the Royal Mail. The community group now manages the post office, including staffing, operations, and finance.
Since the takeover, the Mells Post Office has continued to provide essential postal and banking services to the village and surrounding areas. The community group has also been able to expand the services offered by the post office, including the provision of a community shop and café, which has become a popular meeting place for local residents.
The success of the Mells Post Office Association in taking over their local post office has demonstrated the ability of communities to provide essential services, such as postal and banking services, without the involvement of local government. It has also provided a model for other communities across the United Kingdom that are facing similar issues with the closure of post offices and other public services.