Have your say to avoid the last post
SIR - It is with surprise and dismay that we learn that the Post Offices at St Ippolyts, Whitwell, and Hexton have been named in the consultation process for closure. This represents another major blow to be inflicted on our vulnerable rural communiti
SIR - It is with surprise and dismay that we learn that the Post Offices at St Ippolyts, Whitwell, and Hexton have been named in the 'consultation' process for closure.
This represents another major blow to be inflicted on our vulnerable rural communities, who rely so heavily on the presence of these vital services. There can be no justification for these closures, particularly on financial terms, since the offices at St Ippolyts and Whitwell are constantly busy hubs of the local communities.
Over a number of years, the Post Office has sought to reduce the services available at its outlying businesses, and now states that they are unviable!
Traditional services have been withdrawn, but the village post office remains a central point of contact for so many, especially the elderly and infirm. How can we expect these people, vulnerable and often isolated, to have to travel by infrequent public transport to the next available post office, to collect their pensions and pay their bills. There is no public transport available to travel from Whitwell to Codicote post office, and there is but one bus every two hours to Kimpton. Even having travelled to Kimpton, there would be a two hour wait for the bus to return! This is totally unsatisfactory.
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The population of Whitwell has nearly 25% of residents of retirement age and above, and nearly 33% have long term, permanent, and restricting illnesses. When you consider that the average time to reach a bus stop at either end is five minutes for a healthy traveller, this makes the situation totally unacceptable for the aged and infirm. Our older citizens very often do not have access to internet banking, etc., and clearly would not be able to cope with new technology thrust upon them.
North Herts District Council is committed to community support and engagement, particularly in the rural areas, and, in partnership with the parish councils, its councillors and its officers will actively defend the values that its residents deserve and can expect.
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In doing so, we will make strong representations to the Post Office, and urge all residents to make personal protest to them, by way of individual letters, and by signing any petition which seeks to reverse this process.
Individual letters can be sent to: Laura Tarling
Network Development Manager
C/o National Consultation Team
FREEPOST Consultation Team
Or by email to:
Don't wait for others to respond, they may be waiting for you!
and DAVID BARNARD
SIR - We have until August 26 to force Post Office Ltd to reconsider their inappropriate proposal to shut down St Ippolyts Post Office.
They suggest the convenience of two other Hitchin Post Offices but fail to realise that our bus service to Hitchin is every two hours and we could not manage to return on that same bus, but would have to wait until the next arrived. A whole morning would be taken up if this proposal went ahead.
Write a letter to this Freepost address to Laura Tarling, Network Development Manager, Post Office Ltd, Freepost Consultation Team to advise her of this and any other concerns.
We could save St Ippolyts Post Office from permanent closure, do it now.
JOHN E WINDEBANK
SIR - I notice that our Stevenage MP, Barbara Follett, has joined the campaign to stop Post Office closures. (MPs take Post Office battle to Parliament - July 17).
And yet she, along with a great many Labour MPs, earlier this year, voted to go ahead with the closures. So has she changed her mind? Does she now agree that it is a really bad idea to be closing post offices, if for no other reason but the extra travel involved for all those people who will lose out, which would mean extra time and expense and extra carbon emissions?
Let us hope her campaigning is successful.
SIR - A meeting to protest against the closure of Fairlands Post office is a good idea, but why is it being held in Bedwell Community Centre?
The closure will, no doubt, affect the pensioners and the elderly, and as this hall is not even on Fairlands estate, it is rather a long walk for those residents who prefer not to go out at night.
Whoever arranged this meeting should be reminded that it is Fairlands Post Office, in what remains Fairlands shopping precinct on Fairlands estate, so why not use Fairlands Hall. We are not part of Bedwell.
A RESIDENT OF