REVEALED TODAY EXCLUSIVELY THE FOUR POST OFFICES IN FENLAND THREATENED WITH CLOSURE

PUBLISHED: 11:02 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:32 02 June 2010

St Peters road P.O, March

St Peters road P.O, March

WEB EXCLUSIVE By EDITOR JOHN ELWORTHY FENLAND will lose four post offices in the latest round of closures that will not be officially announced until next Tuesday. Confidential documents obtained by the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard name the four post

Christchurch shop and P.O.

WEB EXCLUSIVE

By EDITOR JOHN ELWORTHY

FENLAND will lose four post offices in the latest round of closures that will not be officially announced until next Tuesday.

Confidential documents obtained by the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard name the four post offices that will close- one is in Wisbech, one in March and two in rural villages.

Benwick shop and P.O.

Up to 30 post offices across Cambridgeshire are threatened with closure but Post Office Ltd may escape some censure in Fenland with their proposals which one local councillor described to me today "as modest and far from the meltdown we might have anticipated."

The four post offices whose closures will be announced are:

MARCH- St Peter's Road

BENWICK

5 Alls pub, Benwick

CHRISTCHURCH

WISBECH-Harecroft Road.

I understand that a proposal is being considered in Benwick to move the sub post office to the Five Alls public house: the worst affected village will be Christchurch whose local services have long been under threat.

The village will be served by an outreach service visiting one or two days a week but the closure has been flagged up because of the dwindling number of transactions which now go through the sub post office. Ironically the neighbouring village of Welney has also recently lost its sub post office.

In March the situation at St Peter's is said to be "borderline" and the numbers using the post office are just below the threshold where a decision to remain open may have been made.

A high proportion of elderly people also use this post office and it serves a number of old people's homes and also the sprawling Cavalry estate.

Ironically the St Peter's general store only converted part of the shop to a sub post office in recent years following the closure of the post office at Edgoose in the High Street.

A campaign to keep open St Peter's Road is expected - as too there will be a campaign in Wisbech to preserve the sub post office at Harecroft Road.

The family newsagent business and post office says trade is brisk and is used by many as an alternative to the Norfolk Street Post Office which they say is often very busy.

The Karavadra family who run the Harecroft Road business have been told not to speak about the post office or to confirm any decision about its future until an official announcement is made on Tuesday.

However many of their customers have already sensed that closure is a real possibility and customers I spoke to last night said the affects of the threatened closure would be devastating.

Ranjit Karavadra with his father Hajan Maiya, mother Usha and sister Nisha have worked in the business which they have owned for four years. Although no member of the family would speak to this newspaper, their customers have been more vocal and are already planning a campaign with banners, leaflets and a petition should Harecroft Road be confirmed as a likely candidate for closure.

County councillors met yesterday (Thu) to consider what options they can take once the closures are announced officially.

The county council says that when the closure programme is announced it will be closely examined to ensure that Post Office Ltd has stayed within the criteria for closure set by national Government - and if any of those criteria are not met, the closure recommendation will be challenged..

The Government has announced that 2,500 post offices are to close across the country to offset network losses. Post office Ltd is undertaking a rolling area-by-area approach. Background information is available at: www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange and www.postwatch.co.uk

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