Will it be last post for How Wood? St Albans faces losing another post office...

Local councillors including Dave Yates, Sandy Walkington, Aislinn Lee and Jay Baillie with local res

Local councillors including Dave Yates, Sandy Walkington, Aislinn Lee and Jay Baillie with local residents who are opposed to the proposed plan to close the post office at the co-op in How Wood - Credit: Archant

A strong sense of outrage has greeted a decision by a big retailer to shut down a local post office.

The Co-operative has announced proposals to close the post office at their How Wood store on April 6 this year.

The news has shocked the community, many of whom rely on the post office services.

A petition has since been set up to fight the proposals, with online signatures already totalling more than 400.

St Stephen parish councillor, Jay Baillie, who is campaigning to keep the post office open, said: “This is an outrageous and high handed decision with no consultation or thought towards those people who will find it difficult to get out of the village to access post office facilities.

“Many people rely on the post office and Co-operative heavily, and for much of the elderly community, it’s their only way to collect their pension and post their parcels.

“If they were a small business I would understand but they’re not, they’re a big business.

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“They are missing an opportunity here, because many people who go in to use the post office, use the shop as well.

“I’ve had many people write to me to say they will stop using the Co-op completely if they continue with the proposal.”

Councillors were notified through a letter claiming there was an alterative facility in Park Street, despite the fact that it closed more than five years ago.

The letter gave lack of profit from the post office as the reason for the closure.

Sandy Walkington, Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for St Albans, said: “The Co-op claim to be an ethical company, yet here they are justifying their decision on purely commercial grounds, ignoring the plight of many elderly people who rely on these services.”

The nearest post office in the area will now be on Watford Road. A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food, said: “We have informed Post Office Limited of our intention to remove the post office from our store in How Wood, St Albans.

“This decision has been taken with the greatest regret, and is because the post office there is making a loss.”

Post Office Limited will continue to look for a new premises in the area. A spokesperson said: “Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining post office services to customers in St Albans and will work hard to ensure this.”

Local retailers interested in offering the post office services should call 0845 266 8790 or email NTquestions@postoffice.co.uk. If you would like to sign the petition, complete the survey set up by Jay Baillie here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/BPBS9C5.