Little Downham Post Office Ordered To Close Its Doors

PUBLISHED: 12:36 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 04 May 2010

Harpal Atwal

Harpal Atwal

LITTLE Downham Post Office was finally ordered to close its doors by Royal Mail last week after impassioned pleas to save it were ignored. The small village outlet had been on the Post Offices closures list for almost a year before it received orders to

LITTLE Downham Post Office was finally ordered to close its doors by Royal Mail last week after impassioned pleas to save it were ignored.

The small village outlet had been on the Post Offices' closures list for almost a year before it received orders to close last week, with frantic efforts to earn a reprieve from councillors, MPs and villagers, proving fruitless.

Dozens of elderly residents will now have to make use of limited hours out-reach service while others will face the prospect of a lengthy trip in to the main Post Office in Ely High Street, an office already struggling to cope with huge volumes of customers.

Postmistress Harpal Atwal, who has run the office in the village for more than 10 years was left distraught by the decision, she told the Ely Standard: "I'm really sad and angry that we have had to close the Post Office after so many years of being here.

"But I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who gave me their support over these last months and I would just like to urge everyone to keep supporting the shop."

Though an outreach service has been set-up to replace the post office itself, it will have limited opening hours and it is not clear what services will be available to residents, much to the frustration of councillor for Downham Villages, Anna Bailey, she said: "Little Downham is part of one of the biggest parishes in the country and to think we will now be left with no post office and just one shop in the village is very saddening.

"For so many years Harpal has been trying to get the Post Office to let her have tax discs so she could make the store viable but it just seems like they have set up a post office on the cheap instead."

The closure of the Little Downham branch is the second closure of a local Post Office this year after the St John's Road office in Ely was shut-down earlier than expected in March.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail confirmed that the branch was to close and would be moving to an outreach service, but was unwilling to address any local concerns.

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