Town's post office could be saved

By Dave GooderhamA VITAL post office, earmarked for closure after being taken over by a supermarket giant, could yet earn a reprieve. More than 100 concerned residents packed into a meeting to discuss the future of the One-Stop convenience store on the Moreton Hall Estate in Bury St Edmunds.

By Dave Gooderham

A VITAL post office, earmarked for closure after being taken over by a supermarket giant, could yet earn a reprieve.

More than 100 concerned residents packed into a meeting to discuss the future of the One-Stop convenience store on the Moreton Hall Estate in Bury St Edmunds.

They were told the new owners, Tesco, had no plans to keep the post office within the Lawson Place store, prompting fears the town was set to lose yet another outlet.


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The Post Office has already axed a branch in Eastgate Street, while outlets in Horringer Road and Southgate Street are also under threat as part of a major review of postal services in Bury St Edmunds.

But borough councillor Terry Buckle, one of the leading campaigners fighting to save the branch, said plans were now taking shape to transfer the post office to the Moreton Hall Community Centre.

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"We will have a post office on Moreton Hall one way or another and a room in the community centre has been offered. It is vital the area has a post office and I have no doubt we will not lose the post office completely," he added.

Mr Buckle, who is also chairman of the Moreton Hall Community Association, said he expected to meet with Post Office bosses to discuss the suitability of the community centre.

David Ruffley, the Bury St Edmunds MP, who chaired the meeting, said many disgruntled residents had vowed not to use the new shop.

He added: "I am very disappointed Tesco did not do their homework about what residents wanted on Moreton Hall.

"Clearly Tesco are going to push ahead with this closure and that is why I will be pressing the Post Office to urgently look for a new site on Moreton Hall.

"I want a positive solution, one that keeps a post office at Moreton Hall, otherwise there will be fury from residents."

Mr Ruffley said he would welcome the post office moving to the community centre, but admitted it was only a possibility at this stage.

A Tesco spokesman said it had bought 800 One Stop and Dillions shops across the country and was converting 450 of these to the Tesco Express convenience stores.

"We do not intend to keep the post office at the Lawson Place site. We are a food store and that has to take priority if there is not enough space for a post office," he added.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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