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Swaffham joins post office fight

PUBLISHED: 18:50 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:54 02 June 2010

SWAFFHAM has pledged to “fight tooth and nail” to save a popular post office from closure.

Residents and councillors have launched a two-pronged attack against plans by the Post Office to axe the town's London Street branch.

SWAFFHAM has pledged to “fight tooth and nail” to save a popular post office from closure.

Residents and councillors have launched a two-pronged attack against plans by the Post Office to axe the town's London Street branch.

Since the Post Office announced last month it was looking to shut 47 offices in the county, more than 500 people have signed a petition calling for the branch to be kept open.

And postmistress Carolyn Gibson-Hill believes many more members of the public will show support.

The Post Office says the cutbacks are necessary to make the service sustainable, insisting that most people will still be within one mile of a branch.

But Swaffham Town Council is compiling evidence to support its argument that the post office in London Street is vital to the community for its range of services and facilities.

“The post office in London Street is absolutely essential to Swaffham for a number of reasons,” said councillor Ian Sherwood.

“It offers disabled access and parking and it is handy for elderly people who still prefer withdrawing their cash from the office and who trust local staff.”

Mr Sherwood said the post office will also be expected to cope with extra demand once a planned 400-house development is completed in Swaffham over the next 20 years.

More than 135 properties are expected to be built on the Redland site near London Street in the first phase of the project.

“People don't want anonymous transactions, they want regular faces they can trust. For this reason we shall be fighting tooth and nail to save this branch,” he added.

Carolyn Gibson-Hill added: “We took over the office five years ago and since then we have been working with the community very closely.

“We have a few hundred customers every week and they enjoy the facilities we provide.”

The London Street post office is one of two branches in Swaffham. The other branch is in the town's market square.

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said: “We encourage people to give any feedback before the consultation comes to an end on June 2. We are looking forward to hearing the views of residents and councillors in Swaffham before any decision is made.”.

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