Councillors want to find new home for post office

PUBLISHED: 10:50 28 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

AN EMERGENCY motion to ensure a threatened sub-post office is found a new home was unanimously agreed by councillors at a meeting on Wednesday night. Southdown Road Post Office, which shares its premises with Balfour Newsagents, is set to shut by the end

AN EMERGENCY motion to ensure a threatened sub-post office is found a new home was unanimously agreed by councillors at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Southdown Road Post Office, which shares its premises with Balfour Newsagents, is set to shut by the end of the year following a decision by the Co-Operative, the store owners.

The branch will be the second Harpenden post office to close in recent months - the first was the Station Road North branch which was shut in the recent spate of closures by the Post Office, despite strong local opposition.

By the New Year, only the main post office in Station Road in the town centre and a small sub-post office in Kinsbourne Green will be open.

The Post Office is now advertising for a new home in the Southdown area.

Harpenden South councillor Teresa Heritage brought the issue before full council at its meeting last night and councillors voted unanimously in favour of a motion pushing for the retention of the service.

She said that the Co-Op had not considered the impact the closure would have on the community and complained of problems communicating with them along with Somerfield, which has been asked to take in the post office.

Harpenden East councillor, Alison Steer, said that if the post office was to remain closed then 30,000 people would be sharing the facility and she claimed that the Balfour shop was purposely run-down.

Wheathampstead councillor Judy Shardlow said: "This is a classic example of the sort of thing that needs to be taken into account in the Local Development Framework (LDF) as it makes a difference between settlements thriving and having a strong sense of community and a community failing."

Cllr Paul Foster, Harpenden South, raised concerns about the future of the Southdown parade: "The variety of shops there has decreased significantly from 10 or 20 years ago. We need to stop the loss of another outlet in Southdown which potentially would become another take away rather than adding variety and resources to the local community."

The motion passed at the meeting also agreed that the district council would write to Somerfield to request that the sub post-office is relocated within their store.

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