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Residents disgusted at closure prospect

PUBLISHED: 18:16 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

Residents in Southtown and Cobholm say they would join together to fight the closure of Lichfield Road Post Office.

Mum-of-two Julie Kane uses the post office three times a week and said she would support a campaign to keep it.

Residents in Southtown and Cobholm say they would join together to fight the closure of Lichfield Road Post Office.

Mum-of-two Julie Kane uses the post office three times a week and said she would support a campaign to keep it.

“It's wrong to close this post office. I think it's such a shame. If this branch closes the Yarmouth branch will be too busy, people will be queuing out into the Market Place. It will not be able to cope.”

Brenda Savage has been using the branch for about 40 years and believes closing it would be bad for the community. “I feel disgusted,” she said, “all the elderly people rely on this branch and young mums use it. I'm very surprised this branch has been earmarked for closure.”

Mrs Savage, who has lived on Wolseley Road since 1963, uses the branch three times a week.

“If this branch closed I would have to use the one in Yarmouth but I only go into town on Saturdays.”

A customer from Cobholm, who didn't want to be named, uses the Post Office two times a week on behalf of an elderly neighbour.

The 57-year-old said: “I don't think closure is a good idea. A lot of people from Cobholm use this branch because it gets so busy in the main Yarmouth branch.”

Sub postmaster, Shah Haque, said he was “devastated” and “shocked” at the closure proposals.

He said: “I really was not expecting this. Given the position of this branch in an area of deprivation, I would have thought it might be saved. There are also a lot of elderly residents who use it. I'm very shocked.”

Mr Haque has been running the branch with his wife Salma for 16 months. The couple also run a newsagent alongside the post office and reckon about 1,000 people use the branch each week.

He said: “Since the main office in Yarmouth moved from the Spar into WH Smith we have seen an increase in business by about seven or eight per cent. Customers tell me there are long queues and that people get fed up waiting so they come here instead. That has amazed us.”

The nearest branch is the office in WH Smith, about a mile away, while the branch at St Peters Road is just over a mile away.

Mr Haque believes with a strong enough campaign that the branch could be saved.

“I think it is possible if citizens put up enough resistance with good reason,” he said.

Mr Haque said he believed Southtown and Cobholm residents would find going to Yarmouth “inconvenient.”

“Customers have been really shocked and lots of people have said they will put up a good fight to save this branch and I know a public meeting is being planned by the Lichfield Community Association soon. This is disastrous for customers. It's a way of life for a lot of people especially in an area like this.”

Mr Haque added he would fight to save his post office until the bitter end and was due to be meeting local MP Tony Wright today .

Ward councillor Penny Linden said she was “very disappointed” at the decision and said she would support any campaign to keep the branch open for the residents of Southtown and Cobholm.

“The post office is used by a lot of elderly people and it will be missed,” she said.

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