I rise to present two petitions dealing with two of the four proposed post office closures in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, the four being in Bidborough, St. John’s, Langton Green and Hawkhurst.
The closure of a post office rips the heart out of a community. A post office has been in the St. John’s area for more than 60 years, yet the consultation process lasted just six weeks, with decisions taken in as little as two weeks after that. The inadequacy of the consultation process gives us serious cause for concern, but we hope that the representations that my constituents have made will be taken seriously by the managers of the post office.
The first of the two petitions relates to the St. John’s post office and is signed by 1,574 of my constituents. In a recent public meeting attended by 300 people, it was established that the post office is a profitable and successful sub-post office, run by Sam and Rai Patel, in an area with an expanding population that has inadequate alternatives, in the sense that the existing Crown post office is inadequate.
The petition states:
The Petition of customers of St John’s Road Post Office and local residents of St John’s Road and surrounding villages,
Declares that the Government must keep St John’s Road Post Office open.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons accept this petition and call upon the Government and the Post Office to overturn their decision to close St John’s Road Post Office.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.