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Concerns over post office closure

PUBLISHED: 15:19 17 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:45 03 March 2010

A CLOSE-knit community on the outskirts of Ipswich is today reeling from the proposed closure of its post office.

The Warren Heath Post Office, in Felixstowe Road, is due to close in July and will signal the end of an era.

A CLOSE-knit community on the outskirts of Ipswich is today reeling from the proposed closure of its post office.

The Warren Heath Post Office, in Felixstowe Road, is due to close in July and will signal the end of an era.

For more than 40 years, Marjorie and Brian Pratt have run the business and in that time they have become a pillar of their community.

The news has come as an added shock to families in the area, coming just days after the death of Mrs Pratt, who was 70.

Her daughter, Christine Storey, who was brought up living at the post office, has taken over its running along with her father, Brian, 67.

She said the painful decision to close the business had been taken by her parents shortly before Mrs Pratt's death.

"The time had come for retirement and it's just tragic that Mum didn't get hers, she said.

"It's also the end of an era for our customers because mum and dad have been here so long. They've seen children grow up and then come back with their children."

Local district councillor Josie Law said the closure was a blow for the Warren Heath area.

"It's been going for ages, she said. "I've been living in Warren Heath for 44 years and they've always been here so it's a very long time.

"Quite a lot of people in Warren Heath walk to the post office but they will find it quite a job to walk to the others. It will be sad to see it go."

George Hooper, a Post Office spokesman, said the proposed closure would not leave the area short of branches, with other established businesses in Queens Way and Heath Road.

These branches, according to Mr Hooper, will be "fully geared up to cope with the extra customers".

He added the "long-term prospects" of other post offices in the area would be "improved" by the closure.

However, he emphasised no final decision had been taken about the closure and customers are welcome to submit their views about it.

n Anyone wishing to express a view about the closure is asked to write to National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St Albans, AL1 5XN. Letters must be received by May 21.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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