Post Offices in Soham, Ely and Little Downham to Close
POST Offices in Soham, Ely and Little Downham are facing the axe. The Post Office announced on Tuesday that branches at St John s Road in Ely, Main Street in Little Downham and Hall Street in Soham have been recommended for closure. The official public c
POST Offices in Soham, Ely and Little Downham are facing the axe.
The Post Office announced on Tuesday that branches at St John's Road in Ely, Main Street in Little Downham and Hall Street in Soham have been recommended for closure.
The official public consultation on the closure s started on Tuesday and will run until August 26.
One Ely pensioner, who currently uses the St John's Road Post Office and suffers from arthritis, will be forced to travel to Witchford or across the city to the main branch in High Street to do all his banking and collect his pension money.
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"It will make the queues longer at the main post office, he said, "and I can't stand for very long," the Cromwell Road resident said. "What about all the businesses that do their banking there?" he added. "They can't go across town carrying the day's takings."
John Powley, county councillor for Soham and Fordham villages said: "It is with some dismay that I heard the news that it is proposed to close, amongst many others, the Post Office in Hall Street, Soham. I will be urging reconsideration of the decision in the hope that Soham Town Council, Wicken Parish Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council and the County Council will also raise their objections. Soham is a growing town and the majority of new developments are taking place on the northern part of the town, where Hall Street Post Office is situated. We should take into account the increase in the population, both now and in the future. In the area Wicken has no post office, Barway has no post office and the hamlets of Barcham and Eye Hill have no post office."
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In Earith, the post office on the border of Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire is also to close, but plans are afoot to bring services into the Riverview Hotel and extend opening hours.
A total of 23 post offices in Cambridgeshire are under threat of closure, many in small towns and villages.
Jim Paice, Conservative MP for South East Cambridgeshire, commented on the strain the closure of St John's Road would put on the main branch in High Street.
"Although changes have been made to the post office at Lloyds Pharmacy it is clearly a very inadequate service with queues at peak times sometimes stretching out onto the street.
"This unacceptable situation would only be exacerbated if the thousand-or-so customers who currently use the St John's Road branch every week were forced to visit the Lloyds Post Office instead.
"There should be absolutely no question of closing the St Johns Road post office until the Lloyds branch has improved its service for existing customers and demonstrated that it can cope with significant increased demand."
Nationally, about 2,500 post offices will close.
East Cambridgeshire District Council met on Monday evening to discuss the closures. Councillor Dave Brown, who chaired the meeting of the External Partnerships Committee, said: "Considering we spent the best part of the meeting discussing growth in the district, the last thing we need is the closure of facilities. It's now up to local people in the areas where closures are proposed to make their case. Certainly, there was a lot of comment in the committee on Monday about Ely, in particular the need to up the ante at the High Street post office."
Cllr Brown said a 15-hour a week mobile service had been proposed for Little Downham, but the Post Office had yet to confirm details on times, days or which services the mobile facility would offer.
INFO: To find out how you can respond to the proposed changes www.postoffice.co.uk/networkchange.
Go to: www.elystandard24.co.uk and sign our Keep It Local petition to show your support for retaining local services.