LOCAL MP Gerald Howarth has joined local leaders to fight the post office’s decision to close two sub-post offices in Aldershot.
Both Gerald Howarth and shadow deputy leader David Davies met Tory councillors to support their campaign to save the Queen’s Road and St Michael’s Road branches.
The post office recently announced the two are to close in March and have not ruled out other branches in the area facing the axe.
This will mean customers will have to travel to the main branch in the Galleries in the town centre.
Among other councillors, Charles Choudhary and Roger Kimber met at the Queen’s Road branch on Friday.
Mr Howarth received a petition and pledged to raise the issue in parliament.
He said the closures were a massive blow to the community.
“This will cause a lot of damage because the post office is a vital institution and the most vulnerable people will pay for it.
“We can walk the extra half mile or jump in the car but the elderly people and those without transport will be hit disproportionally,” he said.
He also criticised the government for the closure of post offices across the country, saying: “They have driven it into debt with the tax demands of Gordon Brown. The post office bosses say it’s in a desperate position.”
David Davies said the services lost were irreplaceable to many, particularly pen-sioners.
“The elderly can only exist if they have a service like the post office. With more people living longer, there’s more of a reason for these to remain open.
“I really think the post office should think carefully about where they are going.”
Mr Howarth also agreed the Post Office should confirm which other sites in Aldershot were under threat.
Cllr Roger Kimber said they should come clean: “We are very worried about the future of the others.
“We want to know about the future of North Lane, Boxall’s Lane, Church Road and Ash.”
He said the Post Office had ignored their concern over the impact the closures would have.
“They’re blanking us. We’ve asked them to say if this is the only way forward,” he added.
Cllr Choudhary said he was disgusted the Post Office had not met with Rushmoor Council to discuss the issues first.
“It’s not good enough. All we’ve had is a letter from them announcing the decision. Nearly 2,000 people will be affected.
“Over 700 pensioners have been withdrawing their pensions here recently.”
He called on the Post Office to make improvements rather than cutting services.
Cllr Francis Williams organised the petition. He said many residents would not be able to walk into town to cash their giros and pensions.
“A lot of elderly and disabled people will have to rely on local taxis or relatives to take them to the Galleries. The bus service won’t take them right up to the post office.”
Cllr David Clifford said a regional representative from the post office was expected to come to Rushmoor next month to discuss what was happening.