RESIDENTS in the Town Hill and Smithfield areas of Wrexham are up in arms about the proposed closure of their post office branches.
Many of them have been meeting Wrexham MP Ian Lucas in a bid to save at least one of the branches on the south side of Wrexham.
Mr Lucas said: 'I know just from initial reactions that residents are not prepared to take this lying down. We plan to exert maximum pressure to try and retain a post office network in this part of Wrexham.
'Even Royal Mail admits journeys to alternative post offices involve considerable distances over hilly ground. This obviously presents problems for many residents who depend on a post office, especially those who are elderly, disabled or have young children.
'If this plan goes ahead, there will be no post office between the main one in the town centre all the way out to Hightown - nothing for the south side of Wrexham at all since the recent closure of the Victoria Road Post Office.
'This is totally unacceptable and there is no way that the Royal Mail can claim it is maintaining a decent network for this side of Wrexham. If existing staff want to retire, the Royal Mail should organise the network so that residents keep their service.'
Mr Lucas has already written to Royal Mail to complain that when the Victoria Road Post Office closed, he was assured there were no plans to close the Town Hill office, and it was even recommended as an alternative for residents affected by the closure of the Victoria Road Post Office.
Jill Brown, subpostmistress at Town Hill Post Office for the last 25 years, said: 'Unfortunately it is not a viable business proposition any more, even with the customers from Victoria Road branch. The business has been up for sale for three years but there has been so much uncertainty that it hasn't sold.
'More and more people are using the banks for benefit payments now so I am losing more customers every day and there is not much I can do about it.'
Wrexham is currently served by 19 post office branches and, following consultation with subpostmasters, Post Office Ltd proposed the closure of Town Hill and Smithfield Road branches.
A spokesman said: 'As a large, national organisation, we have many challenges facing our long-term viability, mainly due to falling customer numbers, increasing running costs and increased customer choice about how their benefits are paid.
'Following our comprehensive review of the 19 post office branches in the Wrexham area, we firmly believe there are just too many branches.
' If we, and those subpostmasters who want to continue, are to re-establish our long-term viability, while at the same time operating a network of local branches that can continue to meet the needs of our customers, we must change the way we provide post office services in this area.
'At the time of the closure of Victoria Road branch we stated that the Town Hill branch may need to be reviewed in a wider context. We very much regret the inconvenience this proposal may cause customers who may have moved from Victoria Road, however, in the context of the long-term viability of the network we are confident that this proposal will help deliver a long term sustainable solution for the town of Wrexham.'