New post office could replace one nearby

RESIDENTS in north-east Ipswich have today been given a boost with the news that a Post Office could be installed in the Cauldwell Hall Road Co-op – just 80 yards from one that is being closed down.

RESIDENTS in north-east Ipswich have today been given a boost with the news that a Post Office could be installed in the Cauldwell Hall Road Co-op - just 80 yards from one that is being closed down.

However, it is bad news for people in the Rose Hill area of the town as a proposal to put a branch in Hines Road has been shelved.

Ipswich Parliamentary candidate Paul West today claimed the Post Office were in "complete disarray" over the plans.

He said: "We have got people in and around St John's that will be happy as at least they will have a local post office.

"But if you talk to people around Felixstowe Road, now they are up in arms."

The Post Office has stressed that no decision regarding the closures had been made yet but spokesman James Taylor confirmed a branch would be placed in Cauldwell Hall Road if the threatened offices are closed down.

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He said: "There are too many sub post offices serving too few customers.

"It is important that we let the consultation run and I cannot speculate what will or will not happen."

The Post Office caused an uproar among communities in Ipswich when they announced they could be closing branches in Barrack Corner, Felixstowe Road, Ruskin Road, Spring Road, Ulster Avenue and the Wherstead Road branch in Austin Street.

To soften this blow, it was planned to open a branch in Hines Road but residents objected to this because people would have to cross a dangerous junction at Felixstowe Road.

This proposal has now been replaced by the plan to put a Post Office in Cauldwell Hall Road, only 80 yards away from the existing branch that is closing in Spring Road.

The consultation period for residents to campaign against the closures was originally expected to end on March 30. That was then put back until April 16 but Mr West thinks it should be extended again until the end of May because of this change in plans.

He said: "Post Office management are being forced to chop and change because the reality is that one post office serving a population of 12,000 in the central-east Ipswich area is simply not enough.

"Their U-turn towards the end of the consultation process shows that their closure programme is in complete disarray."

"You question why money is to be spent shutting an existing branch and opening another one 80 yards away. Is that value for money?"

Michael Howard MP, leader of the Conservative Party, visited Ruskin Road last week to add his support to the campaign.

He addressed residents at a short public meeting that took place in the street just outside the Post Office.

n. How will these proposals affect you? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or click on to the forum on the Evening Star Website at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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