[from Hackney Gazette]
POST OFFICE CAMPAIGN HOTS UP
11 April 2008
HUNDREDS of protestors have spoken out about the seven threatened post offices in Hackney.
Campaigners from across the borough have made their voices heard by putting their objections down on paper.
Petitions have been submitted to Post Office Ltd calling for the threatened post offices to remain open.
The branches are being threatened with closure in the borough under Government-backed proposals.
The threatened post offices are Stoke Newington Road, Wilton Way, London Fields, Chatsworth Road, Lower Clapton Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, Cassland Road, South Hackney and Murray Grove, Hoxton.
More than 500 people put their names to a petition calling for the branch on Wilton Way to remain open.
“We have demonstrated fierce public opposition to any closures in Hackney” said London Assembly candidate for Hackney, Meral Ece, who has led the Wilton Way Campaign.
A further 300 signatures were collected by those campaigning to keep the Chatsworth Road Branch open.
The Chatsworth Road Traders’ and Residents’ Association has been formed as a result of the campaign. The chairman of the association said: “With the Post Office gone, we fear people may well stop using other businesses in the area as a result.”
Meanwhile, Hackney Council has also thrown itself behind the campaign to keep the seven threatened branches open. The council has sent a detailed report to the Post Office outlining how the closures would affect people in the borough.
Tim Shields, Hackney Council’s Chief Executive, said: “Our message is clear these closure proposals would impact significantly on the most vulnerable residents in the borough.
“The Post Office says that customers would still be within a mile of their nearest branch, but that is a long and difficult journey for some, particularly older people.
“We strongly urge the Post Office to reconsider its plans, and to take full account of their effects on the live of Hackney residents.