Friday, 5 October 2007

Post Office Closures: Community Services Shutdown

Kent Green Party condemns the proposed closure of 58 post offices in Kent(1). Most of the proposed closures are in small shops which get about 45-60% of their income from their Post Office. If closed, the small shops which house them are likely to close to.

Apart from job losses, closing a local service of particular importance to elderly people is tantamount to discrimination against them. But it will also force people to make journeys, often by car, which they would not otherwise have to make contributing to Kent's congestion problems. When this is coupled with the concentration of hospital services in fewer sites, also impacting most upon the elderly, it can be seen as a general move against community-based services in favour of avoidable centralization.

Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, comments: "One in five households do not have access to a car. This predominantly elderly group have been hit by reduced access to hospital services in various parts of the County already. For those who do have a car, they will now become obliged to use it more often, particularly where village post offices are to be taken away.

We should be looking instead at how to build up income in local post offices through diversification of businesses and use of preferential rates of Business Rates to help independent businesses stay in operation."

1. The 58 branches earmarked for closure are listed below, and are now the subject of a 6 week consultation:
Approach Road , 63 Approach Road, Margate
Bellevue Road , 13 Bellevue Road, Ramsgate
Benenden Chest Hospital , Cranbrook
Bidborough , 14 Bidborough Ridge, Tunbridge Wells
Bingham Road , 185 Frindsbury Road, Rochester
Brompton , 25 High Street, Brompton, Gillingham
Byron Road , 34 Byron Road, Gillingham
Canterbury Road , 14-16 Canterbury Road, Whitstable
Capel Le Ferne , Capel Le Ferne Village Hall
Chalkwell , 69 London Road, Sittingbourne
Cliff's End , Cliff's End Village Hall, Ramsgate
Dane Road , 55 Upper Dane Road, Margate
Denton , 4 East Milton Road, Gravesend
Duke Of York's School , Guston, Dover
East Street , 85-89 East Street, Sittingbourne
Enbrook Valley , 99 Enbrook Valley, Eynsford, Folkestone
Eynsford , The Old Forge Tea Rooms, Riverside, Dartford
Farningham , 3 High Street, Farningham, Dartford
Gills Green , Station Garage, Hawkhurst
Grange Road , 34 Grange Road, Ramsgate
Great Mongeham , Mongeham Farm, Deal
Hardy Street , 84-86 Hardy Street, Maidstone
Hawkhurst , High Street, Cranbrook
Hectorage Road , 82 Goldsmid Road, Tonbridge
High Street , 3 High Street, Herne Bay
High Street , 13 High Street, Sevenoaks
Hythe Road , 79 Hythe Road, Ashford
Langton Green , Langton Road, Tunbridge Wells
Littlestone , 4 Warren Road, New Romney
Longfield Hill , Main Road, Longfield Hill, Dartford
Mead Road , 11 Mead Road, Dartford
Minnis Road , 137 Minnis Road, Birchington
New Bridge , 15 Bench Street, Dover
Northgate , 65 Northgate, Canterbury
Oaten Hill , 3-4 Oaten Hill, Canterbury
Rodmersham Green , 1 St Patricks Row, Sittingbourne
Saltwood , The Fountain Stores, Saltwood, Hythe
Seabrook Road , 246 Seabrook Road, Hythe
Seal , 23-25 High Street, Seal, Sevenoaks
Shipbourne Road , 55 Shipbourne Road, Tonbridge
Shorncliffe , 2 Royal Military Avenue, Folkestone
Sole Street , The Little Shoppe, Sole Street, Gravesend
South Ashford , 108 Beaver Road, Ashford
South End , 115 High Street, Edenbridge
South Park , 192 Loose Road, Maidstone
South Willesborough , 62 Gladstone Road, Ashford
St Botolphs , 2 Station Parade, Sevenoaks
St Dunstans , 21-23 Whitstable Road, Canterbury
St Johns Road , 57 St Johns Road, Tunbridge Wells
Station Road , 129 Station Road, Gillingham
Station Road , Station Road, Tonbridge
Temple Hill , 11 Temple Hill Square, Dartford
Tower Hamlets , 14 West Street, Dover
Upper Deal , 311 London Road, Deal
Westbrook , 101 Canterbury Road, Margate
Wilmington , 221 High Road, Dartford
Woodnesborough , The Street, Woodnesborough
Wrotham Road , 46 Wrotham Road, Gravesend

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