POST Office bosses have ignored protests from Cheshire’s rural communities by going ahead with a decision to close several branches.
Hundreds of residents had signed petitions opposing the closure of outlets, including Tilston, Little Budworth, Delamere, Hargrave, Christleton and Aldford – but to no avail.
One glimmer of hope is at Cholmondeley where the post office, within the Castle Farm Shop, will continue at the same premises and for about the same number of hours as currently, but managed by a sub-postmaster from a neighbouring community.
Generally such “outreach” arrangements such as those at Delamere, Little Budworth, Threapwood and Tilston will mean a cut in opening hours.
Ron Hints, sub-postmaster at Tilston, said The Village Shop, which sells groceries and newspapers and is run by his step-daughter, will continue after the post office shuts some time after March 4.
He understands the outreach service will be probably provided at the War Memorial Hall but for just nine hours a week – three hours per day on three days each week.
At Threapwood the village shop and garage, encompassing the post office, will remain in business but in future, postal services will provided through an outreach service at the same premises but for fewer hours. Sub-postmistress Helen Groves is awaiting precise details.
Delamere Stores will continue to operate but the post office within will close, with outreach postal services available on just Wednesday and Friday mornings in the community centre.
Likewise at Little Budworth, the convenience store will remain open but the attached post office will finish with services expected to be provided within the village hall.
Aldford Village Store will continue as a service to the community even though sub-postmaster Bob Ellerby and his wife Jean expect to lose 50% of their trade when the post office closes.
Customers of Christleton post office were said to be upset at the decision to go ahead with closure and in future will have to travel to the nearest alternative at Waverton.
Hargrave post office is also closing. Overton Post Office in Frodsham will shut at the end of February.