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Fight for post office

PUBLISHED: 15:02 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 July 2010

THEy successfully fought long and hard for their village school and local pub to stay open - now residents of Beeston are warning Post Office bosses to watch out as they prepare to do battle once more.

THEy successfully fought long and hard for their village school and local pub to stay open - now residents of Beeston are warning Post Office bosses to watch out as they prepare to do battle once more.

Horrified at the thought that elderly people and young children will have to traipse down a single track road regularly used by lorries to reach their nearest branch, locals have vowed to campaign to the end to ensure the Beeston branch remains open.

Sub-postmistress Debbie Noakes said: “We're used to battling for things to stay open. We're good at it.

“They simply haven't done their homework on this. There are so many things wrong in the leaflets.

“A rural post office is not just a business. We have people coming in who wouldn't see anyone else for weeks on end if we weren't here.

“They get to come down here meet other people. Playing a part in the community is a major part of being a rural post office. But the Post Office doesn't seem to care about that.

“If we close, people will have to drive three miles in a car to get to the nearest branch. Many of our customers do not drive. The government goes on about the importance of being green but then ensures people will drive three miles to buy a stamp.”

The nearest post offices to Beeston are Litcham and Mileham three miles away, but with no public transport available to get there and back, people who do not have cars will be forced to walk across hilly ground and down a single track road used by lorries.

Now after a meeting on Friday night a Save Your Post Office factsheet informing residents of how to voice their concern to Post Office bosses should soon be circulated.

The Beeston branch is one of 69 post offices across Norfolk and West Suffolk earmarked for closure. Post Office bosses want to close 2,500 branches out of 14,000 across the country and claim four million fewer customers a week are using their services compared with two years ago.

And they also say some post offices have as few as 16 customers a week leading to the business losing £4m a week. While the number of closures will not change, which post offices are closed could and proposals are out to public consultation until June 2.

Anyone who would like to send a letter opposing the closure of Beeston post office can hand them to Di Walthew, who will send them in bulk.

If you would like a “Fight For Your Post Office” poster contact Alex Lynch on 01603 772210, email alex.lynch@archant.co.uk or download one online at www.edp24.co.uk

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