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Tears as post office fight hits deadline

PUBLISHED: 14:40 02 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:33 14 July 2010

It has been a long and bitterly fought battle but today the consultation process over which of the 53 Norfolk post offices will shut, ends.

Since Post Office bosses revealed controversial plans to close 2,500 branches nationwide, there has been uproar in local communities.

It has been a long and bitterly fought battle but today the consultation process over which of the 53 Norfolk post offices will shut, ends.

Since Post Office bosses revealed controversial plans to close 2,500 branches nationwide, there has been uproar in local communities.

In Norfolk, where more than a third of a million people will be affected if the moves go ahead, campaigners have taken to the streets in protest, signed petitions, and written letters.

And determined to fight to the very end, on Saturday two villages, who will face devastating consequences if their post office is closed, made one last push at making their voice heard.

Prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for mid-Norfolk, George Freeman, visited New Buckenham and Beeston, near Dereham, to collect more vital signatures and collect letters opposing the scheme.

New Buckenham residents without transport of their own and who want to use the nearest post office, will be forced to stay overnight at neighbouring Old Buckenham, or face a one-way four hour journey, because of conflicting bus timetables.

Mr Freeman said: “When I went to the old people's home next to the New Buckenham the residents were all so concerned about the closure. They all use it. One woman broke down in tears. It's really rather moving.

“These post offices are not only community hubs but viable services. Norfolk has made its views clear. The government is not in touch.

“If the closures go ahead it will not be the end. The next step will be to legally challenge the decision and consultation.”

A final decision expected in three weeks. To see the report by Norfolk County Council opposing the closures visit www.edp24.co.uk.

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