Elderly set for fight to save post office

GREY power is being mobilised to help fight plans to close a post office.

GREY power is being mobilised to help fight plans to close a post office.

A consultation on the closure of Essex Road Post Office is underway - and residents are trying to get their voices heard.

Post Office chiefs want to close the branch in Essex Road to save money but residents say it is a vital resource.

Islington Council, Liberal Democrat Party leader Nick Clegg and Islington South and Finsbury Labour MP Emily Thornberry have attacked the proposals.

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Ms Thornberry's rival, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Bridget Fox, has collected dozens of signatures for a petition.

Age Concern Islington and other pensioners' groups are joining forces to help save Essex Road Post Office.

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Deborah Fowler, Age Concern Islington's chief executive, said: "We're planning to organise public protests, together with other local groups such as the Dorcas Befriending Project, Islington Pensioners Forum and Disability Action In Islington.

"But it's essential that people sign petitions against the closure, and ideally that they write to the Post Office.

"Essex Road Post Office is not just somewhere where people get stamps, it keeps people in touch with their community, and also helps add 'critical mass' to local businesses in the area.

"We're pleased to see cross-party support for the post office. It's a busy post office and a lifeline to the community.

"How will people with limited mobility get to post offices further afield? We were promised the use of this post office when they closed previous post offices in the area."

Herve Nourisson, project co-ordinator of elderly and disabled people's group The Dorcas Project, added: "It is bad news for older people and for us as this is our local post office.

"A lot of people from the Dorcas Project are concerned. First they lost the Mecca Bingo Hall in Essex Road, now their post office.

"We've been told that the alternative post office is in Upper Street. That would mean having to use two buses to get there or a 20 minute walk which an endeavour for some elderly clients. The Essex Road branch is always busy. There are often queues outside the branch.

Residents have until April 2 to object. To sign the peition, go to campaigns.libdems.org.uk/serpo. To comment on the proposals, send a free letter to Craig Tuthill, Regional Development Manager, Post Office Ltd, c/o National Consultation Team, FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM.

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