THERE have been no reprieves for North Devon or Torridge post offices despite campaigns across the districts, although the fate of Shebbear still hangs in the balance. Post Office Ltd yesterday (Tuesday) announced its decisions on the future of branches
THERE have been no reprieves for North Devon or Torridge post offices despite campaigns across the districts, although the fate of Shebbear still hangs in the balance.Post Office Ltd yesterday (Tuesday) announced its decisions on the future of branches across Devon following a six-week public consultation period on its proposals for closures.Thirty-seven branches will close across the county, with the first closures due next month, and proposals for seven more, including Shebbear, are undergoing further review.The replacement of 32 branches by outreach services has also been confirmed.Two branch offices in Torquay are the only ones to have so far gained a reprieve following the consultations.The announcement brought anger in Buckland Brewer, where the post office branch opened less than two years ago with the help of grant aid, is to close and be replaced by a mobile outreach service.They were in defiant mood, shaking their fists at the Post Office sign as they vowed to fight on.Proprietor Keith Horwell said it was hoped that Devon County Council could be persuaded to step in with some form of subsidy to help keep it open.District councillor Adam Symons, who helped spearhead a high profile Buckland Brewer campaign, said: "We are astounded that the Post Office still plan to shut Buckland Brewer. We have demonstrated how much support there is for this community facility and we really are gob smacked that they are still going to close it."Offers of help to keep the post office open have come from the county council. Local county councillor Humphrey Temperley, said: "We are currently in negotiations with Post Office Ltd. to see whether we can meet the costs of turning the outreach service into a hosted service, back in the community shop. It is imperative that we keep this open."Local post offices now due for closure are: Barbrook; Bishops Tawton; Bideford, Barnstaple Street; Goodleigh; Lynmouth; Ilfracombe Portland Street; Combe Martin Seaside; and Sutcombe.There are also proposals to replace the following post offices with outreach services: Ashreigney; Ashwater; Bishops Nympton; Bratton Fleming; Bridgerule; Buckland Brewer; Burrington; Chittlehamholt; Clovelly High Street; Langtree; Rackenford; West Buckland; and West Down.