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Fight promised for post office

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:44 02 March 2010

ANXIOUS residents are waiting with baited breath as the fate of a much-loved local post office is decided.

Members of Ipswich's Whitehouse community are desperate to stop the closure of Ulster Avenue post office in Ulster Avenue, Ipswich.

ANXIOUS residents are waiting with baited breath as the fate of a much-loved local post office is decided.

Members of Ipswich's Whitehouse community are desperate to stop the closure of Ulster Avenue post office in Ulster Avenue, Ipswich.

Around 1,000 signatures were handed to Post Office Ltd's head of area, George Hooper, at a meeting held at Whitehouse Community Centre in Limerick Close, Ipswich on Tuesday.

The signatures were in protest at the proposed closure of Ulster Avenue post office.

Speaking outside the meeting, 79-year-old Joan Laughin of Mayo Court, Waterford Road, Ipswich, said: "We think it will spoil the whole community. Our shops will go and nobody will go to Ulster Avenue. The whole community is up in arms."

Mrs Laughin said going to other post offices would be too difficult.

She said: "If you get on a bus and go all round the houses to Bramford Road [to Adair Road post office], there is no pedestrian crossing and there is no shelter.

"We couldn't walk to Bramford Road, especially as on the way back it will be up hill."

Eileen Bond, 78, also of Mayo Court, Waterford Road, said: "We don't want to go all the way down to Bramford Road."

Anne Phillips, 53, of Kerry Avenue, Ipswich, was also speaking outside the meeting.

She said: "I feel sorry for my mum, who is 80 and not very well. She feels as if she doesn't matter.

"The only little bit of pleasure she gets from going to the shops is disappearing.

"I wouldn't let my mother to go to the other post offices in Meredith Road or Bramford Road."

Mr Hooper, who was speaking before the meeting, explained the post office was closing branches to try and cut its losses.

He said: "We are having to face some difficult decisions because we know if we don't do something about the network, in five years time the whole network will have to close down.

"We can't continue with this level of losses. It is not something we are particularly proud of and we do take complaints on board."

Mr Hooper said Ulster Avenue post office was the only branch facing possible closure out of the 43 post office branches in the central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency.

He said Ulster Avenue post office was chosen after Post Office Ltd was satisfied the sub postmaster was prepared to go and that the nearby post office branches were of an acceptable distance and accessibility.

He said both Surbiton Road post office and Adair Road post office were just 0.8 miles away, while Meredith Road post office was 0.9 miles away.

Tuesday's meeting marked the end of the public consultation process.

The decision on the future of Ulster Avenue post office is expected around mid-April.

nIs it right to close post offices? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk


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