MP's fears over post office closures

SUFFOLK Coastal MP John Gummer today hit out over the axing of dozens of post offices across the area - fearing it could lead to the closure of many village stores.

SUFFOLK Coastal MP John Gummer today hit out over the axing of dozens of post offices across the area - fearing it could lead to the closure of many village stores.

Mr Gummer has questioned the government on how the closures will affect communities and the environment.

But secretary of state for business, enterprise and regulatory reform, Pat McFadden said the impact had not been assessed.

Mr Gummer said: “Any sensible government considering post office closures would look at the impact on the local communities and the environment.

“The minister in charge tells me he has done neither of these things and doesn't intend to. The government has made the decision to close 2,500 post offices without bothering to think about the consequences.

“The post offices at Bramfield, Knodishall, Reydon and Hasketon Road in Woodbridge, which are marked for closure, are all situated inside shops.

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“Most of the new 'outreach' branches are, too.”

Mr Gummer added that the government and the Post Office need to understand that if these businesses lose the customers that the post offices bring in, they could be in real financial difficulties putting people at risk of losing their local stores as well as their post offices.

He said: “Cuts in government funding have already led to reduced public transport services.

“If the shops and post offices go it will hurt the most vulnerable, the elderly, and those who don't have access to a car. “They will be left stranded.

“The closures will also mean that those who do have cars will have to drive miles to their nearest branch.

“Surely if we are to protect our environment we need to make rural communities more sustainable, not less. Such a short-sighted measure will not help people living in the country reduce their carbon foot print at all.”

Views on the post office closures should be sent by November 11 to Sheila McCann, Network Development Manager, c/o National Consultation Team, FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM

What do you think of the closure of post offices? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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