The Post Office has announced that branches in St Michael’s Road and Queen’s Road will shut next month despite protests from residents and local councillors.

And the company, which claims the closures will improve the network’s viability, has not ruled other branches in the town facing the axe.

People who use the post offices on a regular basis will now have to travel to the main branch in The Galleries in Aldershot town centre.

When the proposed closures were first announced local politicians started their own campaigns to fight to keep them open.

The Conservatives tried to rally support against the closures while the Liberal Democrats collected a petition.

However the campaigns were soured when both groups accused each other of turning the campaign into a political issue.

Rushmoor councillor David Clifford, who is a member of the Conservative group, attacked local Lib Dems when they launched an anti-closure campaign.

He claimed that the Lib Dems should have joined forces with the Conservatives and accused them of electioneering.

This provoked an angry response from the Lib Dems, who accused Cllr Clifford of turning the proposed closures into a political issue.

But this week councillors from all parties were united in condemning the closures and claim the two post offices were essential for vulnerable members of the community.

“There are a lot of elderly people living there and it’s difficult to get to because it’s an uphill walk,” said Cllr Clifford.

“If they take the bus they’ve got a long way to walk to get to The Galleries. Otherwise they’ve got to take a taxi.”

Cllr Clifford also said pensioners collecting their pen-sions on Thursdays would not be able to use the High Street car park ground floor because of the market stalls, compounding their difficulties.

Rushmoor Council chief executive Andrew Lloyd said he was disappointed the Post Office did not listen to councillors’ concerns.

Mr Lloyd added: “They’ve paid lip service to the consultation and they have not addressed our concerns directly.

“We’re really disappointed. There must be a big master plan and they should be discussing it with the elected authority.”

Prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate and Hampshire county coun-cillor Adrian Collett said both post offices were vital locally.

And Dr Rob Sullivan, a Labour party spokesman for Aldershot’s Wellington ward, added he was “very dis-appointed” by the closures and said he was writing to the Post Office to see if there was funding available to improve facilities at the branch in The Galleries.

A Post Office spokesman said many sub-post offices were being axed because there was not enough demand to keep them in business.

“The issue is not about the future of an individual branch but the overall viability of our urban network.”

He said the post office in The Galleries was within a mile of those being closed and could be reached by their former customers. He had no comment on the future of other local branches.