CONSULTANTS working for Cheshire County Council have written a 73-page report on proposed post office cutbacks in the county.
The document will now be sent to the Post Office’s Network Development Manager in time for the consultation’s December 17 deadline.
Last month, it was announced 24 post offices were threatened with closure and six could receive a possible outreach provision.
Cheshire’s executive member for community and communications, Nora Dolphin, said: “According to the report there is a general but reluctant acceptance that the proposals will stand ‘as is’ once the consultation process is completed.
“I have been very dissatisfied with the whole consultation process – I really do get the impression the closures and cutbacks will go ahead no matter what we say.
“This is deeply upsetting because so many people want to stop their post office from closing.
“It is such an important hub of a local community and in many cases, well used and is the very fabric of community life.”
According to consultants, the proposed outreach post offices would only be open between six and ten hours a week.
The Cheshire Association of Local Councils has also contacted parishes affected by closures.
County Councillor Dolphin added: “The document points out that underinvestment in the Post Office network itself has contributed to the demise of business conducted and I believe that this must be a serious consideration.
“It also warns if any post offices are saved, it is essential businesses are sustainable, otherwise future closures may not include a compensation package.
“It is up to us to support our local post offices and maintain pressure on the post office to keep our local offices open.
Liberal Democrat Community spokesman Rod Fletcher also attended the meeting and said afterwards: “I am concerned about the possible outreach post offices because I believe that people will be forced to use alternatives which could result in further reductions in post office business and eventual closure.”