Two of town's POs under threat

By Danielle NuttallTHE Post Office has announced plans that could see the closure of two of a town's branches in an effort to boost the viability of its other outlets.

By Danielle Nuttall

THE Post Office has announced plans that could see the closure of two of a town's branches in an effort to boost the viability of its other outlets.

The proposed closures involve the Horringer Road and the Southgate Street branches in Bury St Edmunds, but residents have been given until December 30 to have their say on the proposal.

There are currently 39 post office branches in Bury St Edmunds, but the Post Office claimed there was not enough business for all of them to survive.


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George Hooper, head of area for Post Office Ltd, said: “No change is not an option for Post Office Ltd, which is losing increasing amounts of money - £194million last year alone - nor is it an option for sub-postmasters whose branches are simply taking too little to pay their way.

“Not long ago this led to a spate of uncontrolled closures, with sub-postmasters believing they had no choice but to leave.

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“By managing closures through this programme, we will have fewer branches, but these will be viable and have a future.”

If the closures go ahead, the Post Office said it would secure the future of the town's Hardwick branch in Hardwick Shopping Centre, the Glastonbury Road branch and the Cornhill branch.

Mr Hooper added: “Currently, 95% of people in towns and cities live within a mile of their nearest branch, with the majority within a mile or two or more, and even after these closures that access will continue.

“Of course, we realise that losing the neighbourhood office on the doorstep will be an inconvenience for customers whose branch closes, but this is not an issue on which Post Office Ltd can stand still.

“At the end of the day, this is about creating a viable network in urban areas - one on which we can work with sub-postmasters to sustain into the future.”

Anyone who wishes to comment on the plans should write to the National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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