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Battle to save ‘heart of the community’ post office

PUBLISHED: 12:15 17 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 17 October 2020

A petition to save Bowthorpe post office has reached nearly 1,200 signatures. Picture: Sue Sands

A petition to save Bowthorpe post office has reached nearly 1,200 signatures. Picture: Sue Sands

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Campaigners have made a last-ditch attempt to save a post office which has been described a “lifeline” for older people in the community.

More than 1,100 people have signed a petition to stop the closure of Bowthorpe post office, at the Main Centre, in January.

It will shut along with the Martin’s Store after McColls Retail Group, who own the business, made the “difficult decision” to cease trading after having “explored all options.”

But people living in the area are determined to overturn the decision, and a petition, organised by Labour Norwich city councillors Sally Button, Sue Sands and Mike Sands, has been sent to Post Office bosses.

Sue Sands said: “The post office is not just a place for sending parcels. It is the heart of a local community and losing the post office would not only make it very difficult for Bowthorpe residents to access a huge variety of services, but we would also lose it as a focus point of our community. Keeping our Post office open is so important.

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For Sally Button the post office is a “lifeline” for the elderly community who rely on the service.

She said: “There are a number of sheltered housing schemes in Bowthorpe as well as the care village and nursing home. These people rely on the post office as there are no other banking facilities nearby. Not to mention the loss of the only ATM in this area. There is a great support for the post office and a clear need for it’s continuance.”

Mike Sands said: “As a full service post office our Bowthorpe branch serves a wide community of both residents and business with banking, bills and letters, parcels pensions and passports. It gives access and advice to a range of government services. It is a public service, central to our community and cannot be allowed to close.”

A Post Office spokesperson said: “Bowthorpe Post Office is due to close in January as McColl’s has made the difficult decision to close the shop where the post office is currently based.

“The vacancy is advertised on www.runapostoffice.co.uk as we know how important a Post Office is to a community and our field team has visited the area to speak to local retailers. There has been some interest.”

McColls Retail Group said they had no further comment.


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