Locals fight to save their post office

CAMPAIGNERS are to seek showdown talks with Post Office bosses to appeal against the decision to close their local branch.

Russell Claydon

CAMPAIGNERS are to seek showdown talks with Post Office bosses to appeal against the decision to close their local branch.

Stowmarket residents held a street protest against the closure of the Crown Street branch last week and are now hoping to be able to convince Post Office Ltd officials to spare the axe.

The post office was among 16 branches earmarked for closure last week - potentially bringing the total number of cutbacks in Suffolk to 50. The Government wants to close 2,500 branches nationwide.

Rosie Carter, a Stowmarket resident spearing the campaign to save her local branch, said she was overwhelmed by the turnout at a meeting on Friday, when 150 people braved torrential rain to voice their anger.

“We were just amazed at the support of the full sector of the community. Everyone from young children to the elderly and people who live in the area turned out. We are all incensed by the whole thing and it makes no sense to shut a profitable business,” she said.

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“We are going to organise a public meeting on the week beginning May 5 where we are going to invite representatives of Postwatch and Post Office Ltd to come and talk to us. We are going to fight this to the bitter end and do everything in our power to overturn it.”

She said Post Office Ltd had published information saving the proposed cuts would leave them under half a mile from the next nearest branch but she claimed they had worked the distance out as the crow flies. She added hundreds of extra unnecessary miles would be clocked up every week as a result of the closure.

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd, said: “We would certainly consider very, very seriously any proposal to meet with the people in the area and to explain what we are doing and to hear what their views and feelings are.

“We really do want to hear from people. It is a consultation and no decisions have been made at this stage.

“We have looked at the area as closely as we possibly can and we have tried to come up with the best possible accessible network given the government have decided on these closures.”

He said they had taken into taken local road networks into account in their decisions, but added that local people knew the areas better and it was important to hear their feedback.

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