Town loses fight to save post office
A CAMPAIGN to save an Ipswich post office has failed after bosses claimed its closure was vital to safeguard the future of other branches in the town.Lobbying by local residents, councillors and Ipswich MP Chris Mole could not preserve the Foxhall Road Post Office.
A CAMPAIGN to save an Ipswich post office has failed after bosses claimed its closure was vital to safeguard the future of other branches in the town.
Lobbying by local residents, councillors and Ipswich MP Chris Mole could not preserve the Foxhall Road Post Office.
After April 30, the last day of trading, customers will be forced to walk around half a mile to the nearest branches in Heath Road, Ruskin Road and Spring Road.
The closure is part of a Government scheme to reduce the number of urban post offices and plough resources into remaining branches. It is hoped the move will safeguard the future of the urban outlets.
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A Post Office spokesman said the Foxhall Road branch closure had been agreed with the subpostmaster, who wanted to leave the business. He will receive compensation from a £270 million fund set aside for the overhauling of the network.
MP Chris Mole said: "Closing the post office will make life difficult, particularly for those elderly customers who use it to pick up their pensions.
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"I hope it proves to be the case that this closure helps businesses elsewhere."
Sandy Martin, Suffolk county councillor for St John's ward, Ipswich, said the closure would come as a "heavy blow" to those who relied upon its services.
He added: "All the local councillors were very firmly opposed to its closure. Local post office services can provide a very good link for people to their local community it is a shame when that is severed."
George Hooper, head of area for Post Office Ltd, said the decision had followed a month-long period of consultation.
He added: "We do appreciate the concerns expressed by those who gave their views and have taken these into account. However, the issue is not about the future of an individual branch but the viability of our urban network overall."
He said that the three nearest branches would have sufficient capacity to handle the additional demands of new customers and would benefit greatly from the extra trade.
Jon Richardson, regional secretary for the national federation of subpostmasters, said the closure was a "sign of the times" and of the loss of income to post offices following changes in working practices.
He added: "I do believe this will help bolster up the other post offices in the area and stop them from closing."