DEVON County Council has said it deplores the scale of the post office closures and outreach services that were announced by Post Office Limited this week. Councillor Brian Berman, the council's Executive Member for Communities, addressed fellow Members a

DEVON County Council has said it deplores the scale of the post office closures and outreach services that were announced by Post Office Limited this week.Councillor Brian Berman, the council's Executive Member for Communities, addressed fellow Members at the Council's Annual Meeting of the Full Council yesterday (Thursday).He said: "We can express our real sense of dismay at the Government and Post Office Limited's handling of this issue. "We shall be seeking a meeting with Post Office Limited to discuss the situation, and particularly their proposal to replace post office with out reach services."This is essential in determining how the County Council can best help those affected communities and achieve sustainable postal services in those areas wherever possible."Cllr Berman gave a commitment to the full council to engage with all parish councils, post masters and mistresses, and communities affected by the post office proposals, to help inform the council on the local effects and opportunities for sustainable post office services being created.He added: "The county council confirms its willingness to invest in achieving sustainable post office services for the affected communities."As a priority, the council would like to see post office services retained or enhanced: - In areas where growth in the size of communities is planned or likely. - Where there are high levels of deprivation and where the loss of a post office could further disadvantage vulnerable people. - Where the closure would threaten the viability of the only shop in the community, an associated business or other local businesses. - Where closure will lead to a significant increase in road journeys to access post office services. The county council will also work with MPs, other local government partners and any other organisations to try and retain sustainable post offices services for the affected communities. Post offices in North Devon under risk of closure are: Bishops Tawton; East-the-Water (Barnstaple Street); Goodleigh; Lynmouth; Ilfracombe (Portland Street); Combe Martin; Sutcombe (Holsworthy); Ashreigney; Ashwater (Beaworthy); Bishops Nympton; Bratton Fleming; Bridgerule (Holsworthy); Buckland Brewer; Burrington; Chittlehamholt; Clovelly; Langtree; Shebbear; West Buckland and West Down.