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Print and online bid to save rural post offices

Hundreds more signatures have been added to the Don’t Sound the Last Post petition organised by Mid Somerset Newspapers to help save rural post offices.

Plans are now being made to deliver the petition direct to Downing Street ahead of the government announcement about whether it will sustain the existing subsidies essential to maintain the network.

Mid Somerset News-papers, which includes the Central Somerset Gazette, Shepton Mallet Journal, Wells Journal and Cheddar Valley Gazette, is backing post offices which are under threat from potential cuts in that multi-million pound subsidy and the withdrawal of services they are able to offer.

In many mid-Somerset villages and towns, the post office plays a vital business and social role as a combination of shop, public information point and meeting point, in addition to the essential services that they provide.

The newspapers say closures that force people to travel longer to find services would leave some disadvantaged residents with higher costs for accessing cash and groceries.

Readers can apply for a colourful free campaign poster and petition form and even download the pictures and sign online, at the campaign website. Endorsed by the Federation of Sub-Postmasters, the petition has four main aims:

  • Reverse the decision to take away purchase of TV licences and other services from post offices;
  • Maintain the Social Network Payment subsidy for rural post offices;
  • Keep the Post Office Card Account, or provide an alternative;
  • Convince the Government to invest in post offices.