Hatfield businesses hit by post office closures

PUBLISHED: 18:10 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:02 26 October 2009

MP Grant Shapps with people affected by the post office closure in Old Hatfield

MP Grant Shapps with people affected by the post office closure in Old Hatfield

THE effect of post office closures on the elderly and disabled has been well-documented, but now the impact on businesses has been revealed. Back in June, it was announced Salisbury Square post office in Old Hatfield would be axed. Now the branch has clos

THE effect of post office closures on the elderly and disabled has been well-documented, but now the impact on businesses has been revealed.

Back in June, it was announced Salisbury Square post office in Old Hatfield would be axed.

Now the branch has closed, the extent of the disruption to local businesses has emerged.

Roy Walton is a director of insurance brokers Bromwall, which is based in the square.

"Post office closures have adversely affected businesses in the area as we are now without local services to support us," he said.

Mr Walton said he had asked Royal Mail if he could be given a bag to collect post for all the businesses in the square.

He was told he could, but it would cost £450 a year to have the mail collected.

Mr Walton refused, and said: "Now we send somebody down by car to the post office in Birchwood - so you have got more people using cars.

"We have suffered a great deal of cost and disruption as we adapt to the changes."

Linda Payne, a director of Country Properties estate agents, in The Broadway, Old Hatfield, said: "It is disappointing an amenity that served the local community has just disappeared.

"We send out quite a few letters per week.

"It is costing us more money in administration because we are losing staff members to go and queue at post offices outside our locality.

"It has put pressure on existing post offices and increased waiting times."

MP Grant Shapps, who visited businesses in the area to see the impact for himself, said: "It is often easy to lose sight of the impact changes like this can have on real people and businesses.

"But this is concrete evidence that the local community has been disrupted and local businesses are suffering due to the Government's post office closure programme throughout Welwyn Hatfield.


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