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VIDEO: Post office campaign takes to the streets

VIDEO, FRIDAY 1.30PM: More than 100 angry Tilton-on-the-Hill residents gathered in driving rain to protest against plans to shut their village post office.

Villagers across the borough are planning more direct action against the widespread cuts, which threaten eight village branches in the Melton area.

Thursday's demonstration saw residents waving placards and giving interviews to TV and radio crews before signing a petition.

Organiser and Leicestershire Countryside Alliance chairman Ginny Heathcote Ball said: "The turn-out was phenomenal. Everyone feels very strongly about this and we've had all age groups come out in support.

"The fight certainly doesn't end here, we feel the Government has missed the point on post offices. Financial viability cannot be the only concern when considering whether or not to continue subsidising the post office network."

Tilton joins branches in Somerby, Old Dalby, Buckminster and Wymeswold listed to be replaced with an outreach service. Branches in Whissendine, Stonesby and Barkby are listed for closure outright.

Tilton resident Helen Farnsworth said: "It really is the heart of the village, there are people here that struggle to get out and about and there's no bus service anywhere so what are they going to do? It's almost an impossible situation."

Tilton's branch is based inside a village shop which may also have to shut if the post office goes. Residents would then face a three mile journey to Billesdon to get supplies.

Resident Norma George is from Save Tilton Post Office, a campaign group set up to fight the closure. She said: "Walking to Billesdon is out of the question as the busy road has fast-moving traffic, no footpaths and very difficult terrain. Twenty five per cent of our community are over 60, and they need a service close by."

Post Office Limited is running a public consultation on the closures with a January 10 deadline before final decisions are made.

Old Dalby residents are expected to turn out in force for a public meeting in the village hall on Friday, December 14.

Starting at 3pm, organisers are hoping the event will feature Mark Partington, Post Office Limited's network development manager, who has been invited to attend.

Resident Kim Lee has already written to Mr Partington outlining the village's concerns, saying: "The paper on the proposed closure does not provide any documentary evidence of the data obtained and analysed in respect of our post office."

Without this information, it is impossible for local residents and businesses to provide a fully informed and meaningful response to the consultation.”

Somerby Parish Council has collected more than 400 signatures against the closure of the village branch while Barkby Parish Council is discussing its planned outlet closure on December 12.

-The Melton Times has produced a letter for readers to download and fill in, saying which branch they want to keep

open and why.

Log on to www.meltontimes.co.uk and click on the Save Our Post Offices button or go directly to http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/11801/Join-the-fight--download.3510920.jp

Once you have completed the letter, print it off and send it to Mark Partington, Network Development Manager, c/o National Consultation Team, FREEPOST Consultation Team (No stamp required)

Alternatively, attach the completed letter to an email and send it to consultation@postoffice.co.uk or call 08457 22 33 44.

Deadline for responses is January 10 - apart from Colston Bassett, Kinoulton and Woolsthorpe, which has already passed.

ANGER: Tilton residents were out in force for Thursday’s protest against the planned closure of their village Post Office

UNDER THREAT: Tilton sub-post mistress Ida De Wet is hoping her branch can be saved by the village’s high-profile campaign

 
 
 

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