Posts Tagged ‘post office’

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Queue-in: Bideford post office, 8.45 am, Monday 23 June

June 21, 2008

Post Office - heart of the community

There will be a queue-in at Bideford post office this coming Monday in protest of the proposed closure of Buckland Brewer post office.

The event takes place at 8.45 am. The intention is to raise awareness, but not to obstruct the normal business of Bideford post office. Post Office Ltd already to a fine job of inconveniencing customers.

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More cuttings

June 11, 2008

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From the North Devon Gazette:

On Torridgeside, hundreds of local residents turned out to pledge support for Buckland Brewer Post Office, threatened with closure just 20 months after it was set up with the aid of a £27,000 grant. Lib Dem PPC and Torridge councillor Adam Symons, who chaired the meeting, said: “What was quite clear … is that the Post Office Ltd. does not understand the importance of Buckland Brewer Post Office to both residents and local businesses and that they have not taken into account lack of public transport, deprivation rates and access to other post offices.”

I will have more cuttings over the next few days and I will start to think through the issues that need to be covered by submissions.

At this evening’s parish council meeting, it was proposed and agreed that information from the draft parish plan, showing how the village is growing, should be sent to the Post Office as support for retaining our post office.

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Closure programme ‘bonkers’

June 5, 2008

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Hot of the press, the North Devon Journal reports:

Two years ago public funding was allocated to refurbish Buckland Brewer Post Office.Two weeks ago it was identified for possible replacement by an “outreach” arrangement which would cut the hours of the service by a third.

The proposal has been fiercely criticised by a number of agencies including Devon Renaissance.

In a letter to Post Office Ltd, Simon Mallett, senior project officer, said: “Devon Renaissance granted £27,736 of public funding to refurbish the site at Buckland Brewer in order that a post office and community shop be established to serve the needs of this isolated and access deprived community.

“Without the post office, the community shop is not viable. There are no other shops remaining in the village.

“We therefore urge that the decision to close this new and vital service be reviewed and are happy to contribute to any such process.”

[…]

Torridge councillor Adam Symons, who chaired [Tuesday’s] meeting, said: “It is a ridiculous situation that two years ago, public money was invested to open up this post office, and now public money is being spent to shut it down again.

“I think people will rightly look for answers as to why such a thriving shop and post office are going to be shut down.

“The nearest replacement post office is over four miles away at Abbotsham.

“The more you look at this closure programme, the more bonkers it seems.”

Cllr Symons said he would be working with postmaster Keith Horwell to put together a robust submission to challenge the closure proposal.

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The morning after the night before

June 4, 2008

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A packed meeting last night heard why the Post Office wants to close our post office, why parishioners believe the post office is essential and what we might be able to do to save it.

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When I get time, I will post my thoughts on an emotional evening. Full credit goes to Adam Symons for chairing, panel members, Keith, Larry and all those that helped put the meeting together, the Methodist hall for hosting an overflow crowd, but – most of all – the good people of Buckland Brewer for turning up and expressing their views in a cogent and responsible way.

Time will tell if we can persuade the Post Office that the proposed closure is wrong headed. There is plenty of good evidence as we heard last night. Let’s share our views.

If you are new to this site, please use the comments link at the bottom of this post to express your views. I have set this site up as a community resource.

[Edit: comments are moderated by a real human being to limit spam comments. It may, therefore, take a little time before your comment appears. Thanks for your patience.]

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Politics Show

June 2, 2008

Thanks to Keith for pointing to coverage of the national post office closure programme from the BBC Politics Show. Puts our case in context.

Full text of the interview with Business and Enterprise Minister Pat McFadden, MP.

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Letters pages

June 1, 2008

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Both the North Devon Gazette and the North Devon Journal carried letters this week in response to the post office closure programme in North Devon.

The choice is with the community – accept the reduced service, or state how much the community is willing to pay for a level of service that is comparable to urban facilities.

I’ll leave commenting on the EU aspects of the closure programme for now. This campaign should be focused on the issue at hand: the threatened closure of our post office.

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North Devon Journal – ‘P.O. closures: ‘elderly and disbaled suffer most’

June 1, 2008

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More from the local press about closures in the area. This article focuses on how the closures will affect the vulnerable in rural communities. The Post Office is already facing a challenge nationally over the legality of the closure programme because of a possible breach of disability legislation.

On to local matters:

Following the announcement that Buckland Brewer post office could be downgraded, a public meeting is being staged in the village hall on Tuesday.

Tim Nickolls, Post Office Ltd’s network development manager for Devon, will be there.

Larry Davies of Buckland Brewer Village Committee and Supporters of the Post Office, said: “We are in the process of carrying out a mail shot of every house in the village and we are expecting a big turnout. Feelings are running high.”

Let’s give Mr Nickolls a polite welcome, but also show him that we are determined to fight this closure.