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Elderly community say town is too far

PUBLISHED: 16:58 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 July 2010

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save their local post office in Southtown say it is vital to the elderly community.

As the battle to save the Lichfield Road post office stepped up a gear this week with dozens of homes displaying posters in front windows, regular customers spoke out against proposals to close the profit-making branch, claiming many elderly residents would be left without a service they rely on.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save their local post office in Southtown say it is vital to the elderly community.

As the battle to save the Lichfield Road post office stepped up a gear this week with dozens of homes displaying posters in front windows, regular customers spoke out against proposals to close the profit-making branch, claiming many elderly residents would be left without a service they rely on.

And a call went out for residents to attend a public meeting next week to discuss the proposed closure.

Esme Horne, of Southtown Road, travels to the Lichfield Road Post Office on her mobility scooter as she finds it difficult to walk as she suffers spinal problems and arthritis.

And the thought of going into town on her scooter and crossing busy lanes of traffic on Southtown Road “frightens the life” out her.

The 72-year -ld grandmother of four said: “I haven't got enough nerve to go that far as I get nervous using my scooter.”

She said: “The post office is important to the community. A lot of elderly people live around here and many are not very good on their feet: if they haven't got a stick they're walking with a frame.

“The town is too far for those people to go. Yes, you could get a bus but some us don't have the energy to jump on and off easily at stops. If it closed, I would not use the branch in town.

“I would have to rely on someone going to the post office for me.”

Fellow Southtown Road resident Jeffrey Fenton suffers from arthritis and uses the post office on a regular basis. He said: “It would be difficult for me to get into town.

“I would have to use a bus; I couldn't walk into town.”

Chairman of the Lichfield Road Community Association Jim West said a meeting last week between key players in the fight to save the post office was very “constructive”.

He said: “We came up with a battle plan including ways of writing letters and different areas we could focus on to show how important the branch is.

“For example, this is a deprived area and there will be a large amount of people who cannot have money paid into bank accounts because of a poor credit history and these people need to access a post office.”

A public meeting has been arranged for Wednesday, 8pm, at the Lichfield Community Centre on Suffolk Road, opposite Edward Worlledge Middle School.

Mr West added: “We need as many people to come to this meeting as possible.

“This issue really has brought the communities in Southtown and Cobholm together.

“We want to hear what people think.”

Sub-postmaster Shah Haque has been overwhelmed by the support of local people and called on people to attend the public meeting to show the strength of support.

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