Saturday, 10 May 2008

Letter from Breckland Labour Group re: Post Office Closures

Dear Sirs, Re: Review of Post Office provision in the Breckland area I write to express my group’s concerns with some aspects of your proposed closure programme for the Breckland area of Norfolk. We do not dispute that commercial and viability considerations are important to all successful businesses. However, such “reinvention” programmes have taken place in the past and yet there still appears the need for further Branch closures to be contemplated. As you will appreciate, more than half of the Breckland Local Authority area is comprised of rural villages, many of whom are reliant on the local Post Office as the “social hub” of their communities. Breckland does appear to be extremely hard hit by your existing proposals and I question whether you have fully evaluated the community value and importance of these offices to local people. Though I have no wish to single out individual offices, our group is particularly concerned by the proposed closure of the Nun’s Bridges (Thetford) and Beeston branches. In the case of the former, many elderly customers would be forced into a journey of nearly three miles to find an alternative outlet; and, in the latter, the shop has historically provided a vital source of commerce for the village, and the loss of the Post Office business would seriously threaten its viability. As a group, we would urge restraint and trust that every effort will be made to spare as many offices from closure as possible. Yours faithfully, ROBIN GOREHAM Leader, Breckland Labour Group

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