Rural communities hit hardest by P Office closures

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Rural communities hit hardest by P Office closures

The closure of rural post offices will have a crippling social and economic impact on rural communities, according to Sparse, the coalition of over 80 of England's most rural local authorities.

SPARSE, along with its sister group, the Rural Services Partnership (RSP), has set out its position in a response to the Department of Trade and Industry's consultation document, "The Post Office Network". The response details how rural closures have a damaging effect on other local businesses and services, which rely on the post office aspect of their business to survive. As a result of the planned closures, remote areas may, for instance, face losing both their post office and their local shop.

Lynden Stowe, Leader of Cotswold District Council said: "The Government has repeatedly promised to secure and maintain strong and sustainable rural communities. What we see proposed in this consultation is a wide range of closures which will hit rural areas disproportionately hard.

"This proposal is unfair and does not lie comfortably with the Government's social justice objective that no one should be disadvantaged because of where they live.

"Where closures are unavoidable, all options to relocate the service to another location in that rural area should be explored, and everything possible must be done to minimize the impact of closures on communities which depend on the services post offices provide.

"Cotswold District Council supports the retention of facilities in our villages. Post offices and local shops are often a focal point for village life."

Posted : 21/03/2007 20:28:54

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