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Audlem Post Office hits the front page

1st March 2007 @ 10:10am – by Audlem Webteam
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Audlem Post Office and postmaster Andrew Smith were featured on the front page of last night's Sentinel as the newspaper covered the anxious wait over the future of thousands of post office branches.

Andrew, who has run Audlem Post Office for twenty years, said: "Everyone is in the same melting pot at the moment. We've been given no indication of the criteria which will be used to identify which post offices will be closed, so it's very much up in the air."

"We are a rural village and my business helps to sustain others and vice versa. We have a good range of services which cater for the villagers' needs but if Audlem Post Office is forced to close it will mean residents will have to travel to Crewe or Nantwich for their nearest post office."

"As far as I am aware, once the consultation period is over and the criteria has been decided, closures could take effect as soon as this summer."

The Government expects around 2,500 branches to shut down over the next two years. Last year, four million people nationwide, and thousands in Audlem, signed a petition calling on the Government to save post offices. Initiatives such as scrapping the Post Office card, encouraging people to renew their car tax online and no longer being able to pay for TV licences at the post office are believed to have reduced the need for local branches.

An announcement of which branches were to close was originally expected before Christmas but was then delayed. Cynics have suggested, probably very unfairly, that the announcement will now come after the local elections in early May, including those for the Assemblies in Scotland and Wales.


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