Post Offices to close
The axe has fallen on post offices across Norfolk this week despite a bitter six week campaign to save vital services to town and village communities. Post Office Ltd has announced branches in Fakenham, Holkham and Great Walsingham are now going to shut after a six week consultation deemed a done deal and 'utterly pathetic' by MPs.
The axe has fallen on post offices across Norfolk this week despite a bitter six week campaign to save vital services to town and village communities.
Post Office Ltd has announced branches in Fakenham, Holkham and Great Walsingham are now going to shut after a six week consultation deemed a done deal and 'utterly pathetic' by MPs.
It comes despite some 600 letters and a 2,500 signature to bosses charged with a so-called rationalisation programme of the post office network, appealing to save the Wells Road branch in Fakenham.
Brett Corder, who runs the branch as part of his Budgen's store, said he was now resigned to the fact that his branch will be closing.
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He said he felt that having generated 600 letters calling for the branch to be kept open and the petition there was nothing more they could do.
“I'm afraid the decision has been made and this sub post office within the store will close. Obviously the store will continue as usual,” said Mr Corder.
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Others set to close are Great Walsingham, Holkham, Clint Green, near Dereham, Longham, near Dereham, North Tuddenham, near Dereham, and Tittleshall, between Dereham and Fakenham.
Barney, near Fakenham, was also on the list to close but had already shut some six months ago.
Great Walsingham post office has known for a “few weeks” that it is to close later this summer. It is housed within the Great Walsingham Barns tea-rooms and textile centre on Hindringham Road.
Relief sub postmistress Eva Gambrill said: “We have known for a few weeks that the post office here is to close.It is very, very quiet and not financially viable but the tea rooms and textile centre is very much open for business.”
MPs of all parties have attacked the process as a done deal and predicted it would all be repeated in a couple of years' time when the government calls time on the post office subsidy.
Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, said the decision was “utterly pathetic.”
“We have been presented with a fait accompli,” he said. “What depresses me is that people have made massive efforts to make the case and it looks like it was a waste of everybody's time and makes people even more cynical about the consultation process.”
Across Norfolk 66 of the 69 branches put forward to be closed in Norfolk and west Suffolk as part of a national closure programme are now officially to shut.
One victory was hailed in the village of Beeston, near Dereham, which was one of the three given a reprieve by Post Office after a campaign.
It was said people would have to travel for three days by public transport to get to the next nearest rural branch, the road to the next branch was deemed dangerous by the county council and the post office there was a hub of the community, offering everything from a home shopping service to people's repeat prescriptions.