Shock as post axe falls

COMMUNITIES across Suffolk were left reeling today with the news that post offices across the county were facing the axe as Royal Mail published a list of branches set for closure.

COMMUNITIES across Suffolk were left reeling today with the news that post offices across the county were facing the axe as Royal Mail published a list of branches set for closure.

Four post offices in Ipswich are set to be closed in the next few months and another ten rural offices in south east Suffolk are under threat.

A further nine post offices in the area are set to be replaced by a part-time or visiting post office service as part of an “outreach” solution to cut costs.

In Ipswich the four post offices facing closure include that at Fore Street - in the heart of the expanding Waterfront area of the town.

Throughout Suffolk and east Essex Royal Mail is set to close 67 branches leaving 340 open for business.

A total of 16 communities would be served by “outreach services”. This could include a branch in a privately-owned business open for only a few hours each week or a mobile post office visiting at set times each week.

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Sheila McCann, Post Office network development manager for east Essex and Suffolk said: “Taking the decision to close any Post Office branch is always very difficult and we know will cause concern to many of our customers.

“We want to ensure that everyone who uses, relies on or has any concern with Post Office services is both fully aware of the proposed changes, and able to give views on them.”

The changes will leave 234 branches in rural areas and 122 in urban areas in Suffolk and east Essex.

People have six weeks to comment on the proposals and a final decision on closure is due to be taken in 12 weeks' time.

The Royal Mail claims 99 per cent of people in the area will be unaffected by the change or will live less than a mile away from an alternative branch.

Anyone wishing to comment should visit www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange or write to Post Office Ltd at Freepost Consultation - no stamp is necessary.

Post offices in south east Suffolk due to close are:

Dennington

Great Bealings

Hacheston

Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Cretingham

Fore Street, Ipswich

London Road, Ipswich

Christchurch Street, Ipswich.

Burstall

Copdock

Hasketon Road, Woodbridge

Knodishall

Martlesham BT Research.

The branch at Honeycroft, Lawford in north Essex is also due to close.

Outreach solutions planned for:

Bedfield.

Coddenham.

Little Stonham.

Pettaugh.

Witnesham.

Nacton.

Sutton.

Ufford.

Waldringfield.

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