Long Lawford Post Office under threat of closure - The Rugby Observer

Long Lawford Post Office under threat of closure

Rugby Editorial 13th Jan, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

ANGER has greeted the announcement that Long Lawford’s Post Office is to close.

The Heart of England Co-Op, which incorporates the Post Office counter in its Long Lawford store, said the service was no longer financially viable because of a reduction in “over-the-counter and transactional based services”.

The counter’s two employees are now in consultation with the Society over possible relocation within the company.

A spokesman said: “It is a decision which has been taken in light of a recent move by Post Offices Ltd to call for a conversion of existing facilities in convenience stores as part of their modernisation programme, which would require substantial investment.”

Conservative ward councillors for Wolston and the Lawfords Coun Derek Poole and Coun Sally Bragg said they would meet with Rugby Borough Council officers, the Post Office and Long Lawford Parish Council this week to see if the service could relocate to a Borough Council building – their attempts to communicate with the Co-Op having ‘fallen on deaf ears’.

They said: “The Co-op website refers to supporting rural communities but they have gone against their own values.

“There are many pensioners in the area who use the Post Office counter to cash their pension and are likely to spend it in the store.”

Independent ward councillor David Ellis, who left the Conservatives in October, called the closure ‘upsetting’.

He added: “What do those people in Lawford do when there’s no alternative? It’s an all-too-common thing across our nation.

“Perhaps we should ask Oliver Letwin, who’s currently in charge of Conservative policy. Are we going to privatise the Post Office?”

Long Lawford resident Gerry White added: “The Post Office is not only convenient but vital to some residents. I can’t believe that the Co-op cannot find space in its proposed extension for such an important facility. It seems to have lost sight of the principles of its founders.”

Fellow villager Pete McLaren has launched a petition against the closure.

Mr McLaren, spokesman for Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said facilities in villages like his were not keeping up with expanding housing.

He said: “The Post Office is a service, and shouldn’t need to make a profit. Royal Mail served us all well. Like the railways, this is yet another example of privatisation leading to unnecessary cuts in local services.”

Visit http://bit.ly/1U0ZoEv or http://chn.ge/1ZmbZ8J to sign the petition, which will be presented to the Co-op at the end of this month.

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