Spokesperson Alistair Tice comments : ” If these closures go ahead, local communities will be damaged across the city. It concerns me to see branches in places like Norfolk Park, Grimesthorpe, Firth Park, Wincobank and Southey on the list. A lot of people are struggling to make ends meet following massive increases in the price of gas, petrol and food plus increased mortgage payments. Now they face the loss of this vital service in their local community.
It is hard to see how some proposed closures can be justified. The new Sub Postmistress of Loxley Post Office has increased the turnover over 3 years but it is on the list. Walkley recently lost its main post office on South Road but the branch in the Co-Op at the Penistone Road garage is in Walkley ward and serves a rapidly expanding Kelham Island population. If the Crookes Valley Road branch goes there will be no branches left on the key 95 bus route in the west of the city. These and a number of other branches have a strong case for staying open and we are going to fight hard to save them. SCAPOC is talking to Sub Postmasters and gathering information to help them put the case for staying in business. ”
Cllr Bernard Little comments : “”Local Post Offices play a vital role in maintaining socially cohesive communities and a vibrant local economy. Their closure will harm the most vulnerable people the hardest. This programme of closures is community vandalism. It rips the heart out of neighbourhoods and is driven by politicians who have developed a blind faith in market solutions.
Internet banking and mainstream Banks have been shown not to be an option for many on the lowest incomes. People with disabilities find that their Post Office provides sensitive help filling in forms, saving and withdrawing their money and play vital ways of keeping neighbours in touch with each other.
SCAPOC have already gathered 8000 petition signatures. The experience of other areas shows that petitions are not enough. We need a Sheffield wide campaign to mobilise public opinion backed by the council resources needed to make the case to keep branches open.
In Essex the County Council have come up with a practical way forward where the Local Authority and Community Groups provide post office services so that the social needs of communities are met. I want to see Sheffield City Council commit itself to adopt the lessons from Essex and keep the local post office network open. Anyone who wants to save their local post office or help our campaign should contact SCAPOC on 07706 710041.”
Both Alistair and Bernard will be at local post offices identified for closure talking to sub postmasters and the public about the closures this week and can be available for interview or photos in an agreed location by prior arrangement.
The full list of threatened Post Office closures in Sheffield follows:
a.. Crookes Valley Road Post Office, 213 Crookes Valley Road, S10 1BA
b.. Shalesmoor Post Office, Co-op, Penistone Road Garage, S6 3BN
c.. Western Road Post Office, 365 Springvale Road, S10 1LL
d.. Grimesthorpe Post Office, 133 Upwell Street, S4 8AN
e.. Hatfield House Lane Post Office, 101 Sicey Avenue, S5 0RH
f.. High Wincobank Post Office, 122 Wincobank Avenue, S5 6BB
g.. Southey Post Office, 46 Southey Avenue, S5 7NL
h.. Wadsley Bridge Post Office, Law Brothers Garage, Leppings Lane, S6 1LR
i.. Deepcar Post Office, c/o Videoplus, 232 Manchester Road, Deepcar S36 2RF
j.. Loxley Post Office, 501 Loxley Road, S6 6RQ
k.. Oakbrook Road, 206 Oakbrook Road, S11 7ED
l.. Parkhead Post Office, 336 Ecclesall Road South, S11 9PU
m.. Silverhill Post Office, 143 Ecclesall Road South, S11 9PJ
n.. Derbyshire Lane Post Office, 248 Derbyshire Lane, S8 8SF
o.. Park Grange Post Office, 37 Park Grange Drive, S2 3SF
p.. The Moor
Sheffield Communities Against Post Office Closures (SCAPOC) is a broad-based city-wide campaign involving representatives from the Socialist Party, Green Party, Communication Workers Union, Trades Council, Tenants and Residents Associations and pensioners.
SCAPOC holds its next meeting at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Charter Square, Sheffield, S1 3EH (Abbeydale Suite 2nd floor) on Thursday August 7th at 7.30pm. Contact SCAPOC on 07706 710041 for more details.