They’re all backing our Post Office campaign

POST offices, communities, ­councillors and MPs have thrown their support behind The Hunts Post s Protect Your Post Office ­campaign. Launched last week, the campaign aims to protect Huntingdonshire s post offices from the Government s plans to axe 2,500

POST offices, communities, ­councillors and MPs have thrown their support behind The Hunts Post's Protect Your Post Office ­campaign.

Launched last week, the campaign aims to protect Huntingdonshire's post offices from the Government's plans to axe 2,500 branches across the country.

Cambridgeshire's post offices are due to be put under the spotlight next spring when work will start on deciding which are to be closed.

The criteria being used by Post Office Ltd look at the finances of the branch as well as its location in relation to other post offices.

But the more profitable the post office, the more chance is that it will have a future.

The message is simple: Use it or lose it.

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However, The Hunts Post also wants to support the community role that post offices play in our villages. And this is why we want you to log on to www.huntspost24.co.uk and add your name to the petition asking for a community element to be considered in the review.

While there will be a consultation period during the whole review process, once a decision has been made to axe a post office there is no reversing.

The time to act is now.

At Hilton Post Office, sub-postmaster Simon Perry said he believed that his outlet might be one of those under threat.

"I think the writing is more or less on the wall for most of us," he said. "A lot of us, including me, think it is only a matter of time before we are closed. I wouldn't be surprise if in 10 years time Hilton is without a post office."

Mr Perry, whose family have run the Hilton Post Office for 35 years, added: "Each year I am doing less and less trade because the Government is deliberately taking more and more services away from me yet expecting me to make the same profit or more.

"Post offices are losing trade and making hardly any money but life does not have to be about making money. Schools and hospitals do not make profits but they are much-needed facilities, as are post offices.

"Through the services we offer we are profiting society. The Government needs to allow post offices to retain the services they have and reintroduce new ones for us to stand a fighting chance of survival."

Jonathan Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon, is among those to support the campaign.

He said: "My position is that I don't want any post offices to close at all. They are vital for village community life and we don't have that many in our towns so we don't want any closing there.

"The Government should be concentrating on improving services, not taking anything away.

"I have supported every campaign against closure since I became MP and the vast majority of closures have been averted so far. If people show that their local post office is very important, it is less likely to be closed.

"The important message is: support your local post office."

Shailesh Vara, MP for North West Cambridgeshire, added: "It is an absolute disgrace that the Government is closing down so many post offices.

"As well as providing valuable and much-needed services, they serve as a focal point for the community. I will do my utmost to prevent the closure of any of our local post offices."

And the campaign also has the support of Huntingdonshire District Council.

Councillor Ian Bates, HDC leader, said: "We deplore the announcement that 2,500 will close and we agreed a council motion on this in June. We call upon the Government to extend the range of work which sub-post offices can do to generate extra income.

"Post offices are an integral part of our rural and market towns within this district. They are essential and they fulfil a social function within the community.

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