Town to lose two more post offices
By Ted JeoryAN MP has claimed the Post Office network is being "decimated" after two more branches in the region were axed.Post Office managers have confirmed two branches in the Chelmsford area will close next month as part of its Network Reinvention programme.
By Ted Jeory
AN MP has claimed the Post Office network is being "decimated" after two more branches in the region were axed.
Post Office managers have confirmed two branches in the Chelmsford area will close next month as part of its Network Reinvention programme.
Despite petitions from worried residents, Post Office bosses announced its branch in Goldlay Avenue, Chelmsford, would shut on October 27, followed two days later by the closure of its outlet in Main Road, Broomfield.
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The East Anglian Daily Times has been campaigning to safeguard the region's network of post offices following fears their future could be at risk from the move to pay benefits and pensions into bank accounts, rather in cash over the counter.
The EADT launched a Save Our Post Offices campaign and collected a 102,000-signature petition, which was presented to the Trade and Industry Secretary.
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Simon Burns, the Conservative MP for Chelmsford West, said the latest post office closures would particularly affect pensioners and residents without cars.
He added: "This means that we will have had seven sub-post offices closed in Chelmsford this year.
"The Government were warned their changes to the payments of benefits would lead to the decimation of the urban sub-post office network and we are now seeing this with a vengeance. That is why I voted against the proposed changes the Government were making.
"I wrote to the Post Office as part of the consultation process urging them to reconsider their decision. However, despite opposition from elected officials and local residents, the Post Office have gone ahead and carried out these closures."
George Hooper, the Post Office's head of area, said the closure of the two branches meant a viable future had been secured for the other outlets in the Chelmsford area and added the two sub-postmasters had agreed to the move.
"We fully appreciate the concerns expressed by those who let us have their views and have taken account of them in making this final decision. However, the issue is not about the future of an individual branch, but the overall viability of our urban network," he said.
"Of course, no-one likes to see the branch nearest to them shut, but even with the closure of Broomfield and Goldlay Avenue Post Office branches, customers will still have a reasonable access to services they value and trust."