Death knell for 28 Post Offices

THE Evening Telegraph can exclusively reveal 28 Post Offices across the county have been earmarked for closure as part of a national cost-cutting exercise.

The full list of counter services facing closure will not be announced by the Government until Tuesday, but leaked documents have revealed the scale of cutbacks being planned in Northamptonshire.

Thirteen post offices in the north of the county have been identified as under threat. The other 15 are in the south of Northamptonshire.

The Government previously warned 2,500 branches should be closed across the country because the Post Office lost 200m last year and the number of customers has fallen by four million to 24 million during the past two years.

As a result 28 county post offices face closure, including 13 in and around Corby, Wellingborough and Kettering, fuelling concerns about the decline of community services.

A further two post offices look set to be operated under a reduced "outreach" service.

Cllr Paul Crofts represents Wellingborough's Castle ward, where the Alexandra Road post office is under threat. He said: "This is very bad news for the area. The post office is very heavily used, especially since the one on the corner of Finedon Road closed down."

But Biren Patel, who runs the post office facing closure in Milton Road, Little Irchester, said: "We only have one counter and serve about 20 people a week. I understand it will be hard for people if we close but at the end of the day I am a businessman and if the counter shuts I will be able to concentrate on my other businesses."

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said: "Residents will be very disappointed the closures will be going ahead on such a scale. Perhaps the most serious is the possible closure of Hawthorn Road.

"I am starting a campaign to save this branch and hope that with a Parliamentary petition we can persuade the Post Office to change its mind."

Corby MP Phil Hope said: "I am very concerned post offices will be closing in my constituency.

"I will be working with any that are identified to see if they can be saved. I will be campaigning against the closure of post offices if there is evidence they can be made viable."

A public consultation will start across the county on Tuesday. A spokesman for the Post Office said: "We have a programme of the compulsory compensated closure of up to 2,500 branches, with about 500 of these being replaced with more efficient ways of serving the local community."

Post Office branches proposed for closure

Grafton Underwood

Hawthorn Road, Kettering

Weekley

Stoke Albany

High Street, Collyweston

Occupation Road, Corby

High Street, Stanion

Burghley Drive, Corby

High Street, Great Doddington

Alexandra Road, Wellingborough

Main Street, Little Harrowden

Milton Road, Little Irchester

Swinburne Road, Wellingborough

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