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Save our post office

COUNCILLORS are preparing a petition campaign against the closure of post offices in Aldershot.

Since the announcement that sub-post offices in Queen's Road and St Michael's Road were to close, Conservative councillors have rallied round to campaign for them to be saved.

Cllr David Clifford, whose ward constituents will be affected by the closure on Queen Street said: "It's important to save post offices like that because it's nice and easy for old people to walk to them."

The Post Office, formerly known as Consignia after a botched multi-million pound image make-over, claims that people affected by these closures will still be within a mile of the general post office in the Galleries.

But Cllr Clifford dismissed this assurance.

He said that this type of local facility closure affects the elderly, for whom a trip to town is a great effort. This measure hits the most vulnerable. It's not so easy for them. They go into town once a week," he added.

Roger Kimber, councillor for the Queens Road area, said: "Regarding the petition I will be putting my full support behind it."

He said no residents had contacted him about it yet because the implications of the closure had not sunk in, but he condemned the Post Office for its decision.

"I have had my official letter now, saying that for 40p people can go down to the town.

"Some of these people cannot do that — some can't even get on a bus!"

The clamour to save the offices has been joined by Postwatch, which has set up a consultation process with the Post Office Ltd to prevent closures that damage the local community.

South-east chairman, Dr David Bland, said: "The urban post office network has suffered from years of decline and sub-postmasters are leaving, something must be done."

"The consultation process we have negotiated is aimed at identifying whether or not customers in the Aldershot area will have access to post office services if both the West End and Manor Estate post offices are closed down."

A spokesman for the Post Office said: "In many cities and towns there are simply too many outlets competing for too little business.

"Along with the increase in operating costs and concerns about future income — which include changes to the way benefits are paid — many sub-postmasters will no longer have viable businesses unless fundamental changes are made."


Charlotte Neal
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Joshua Smith
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet & Yateley Reporter
Ros Collins
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