Passfield post office to close by February

Friday 11th January 2008 12:00 am
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POST Office Ltd officially announced its decision to close the Passfield Post Office this week on what is now being referred to as 'Black Wednesday'. The news followed a six-week public consultation into the future of post office branches across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight . The plan confirmed that 61 branches would close in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with the first closures scheduled to take place in February 2008. These branches were detailed in the Area Plan proposal published on October, 16, 2007, and included Passfield, Petersfield (Durford Road), Froxfield, East Meon, West Meon and East Tisted. These decisions have been reached after public consultation and Postwatch, the consumer body representing post office customers, has verified the correct consultation procedures were followed. Postwatch has confirmed that it will not ask for any decision to be further reviewed by Post Office Ltd. During the six-week local public consultation, Post Office Ltd received around 4,300 responses and attended more than 17 meetings with customers and their representatives to understand customers' concerns and to ensure that all information provided by customers formed part of the final decision regarding each affected branch. Tim Nickolls, Post Office Ltd's network development manager for Hampshire and The Isle of Wight, said: "These are difficult decisions which have not been taken lightly. We have considered very carefully all the comments made during the public consultation. "We believe that the amended plan announced on Wednesday offers our customers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight the best prospect for a sustainable network in the future, bearing in mind the Government's minimum access criteria and the other factors the Government has asked us to consider." East Hampshire district and county councillor Sam James, who has fully supported the Passfield Post Office campaign, made the following statement to The Herald: "I am absolutely disgusted to learn that the Passfield Post Office will be closed. The campaign to keep Passfield open prepared a superb case for retaining the post office and it is absolutely disgraceful that Post Office Ltd has played the numbers game rather than looked at what the community needs. "We now need to look at what steps need to be taken to preserve the village shop in Passfield". Passfield's post office counter will close on Wednesday, February 13. Full details of the decisions and the issues raised during local public consultation are available by visiting http://www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange">www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange or by writing to Post Office Ltd at Freepost Consultation Team (no stamp needed) or by emailing [email protected]">[email protected]

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