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Rallying cry issued to save Staplehurst post office from relocation

PUBLISHED: 10:49 04 April 2017

Helen Grant outside Staplehurst post office

Helen Grant outside Staplehurst post office

Archant

Helen Grant MP is calling on residents to make their voices heard

A rallying cry has been issued to residents in Staplehurst over plans to relocate the village’s post office.

Proposals have been announced to move the branch from its current position in the Hight Street to Station Road at the far end of the village.

However, locals are worried about the impact this could have upon those who may not be able to manage the 1.5 mile round trip to the proposed new location.

It is also felt the move would have a detrimental impact upon the health and prosperity of the village, particularly in light of other notable removals such as the closure of NatWest bank and the decision by Sainsbury’s to abandon their plans for a petrol station.

Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has held discussions with representatives from The Post Office Ltd and raised the core issue of dislocation.

Bosses explained there will be a six week period of consultation before any final decision is made and the Post Office have vowed to consider any views expressed by local people.

Mrs Grant has now suggested affected residents contribute to the consultation and come up with innovative solutions, including potentially a community owned or managed facility, to protect this service for the village.

“Whilst I appreciate the need to modernise and improve the service offered by the Post Office, I am concerned about the impact this decision will have on both residents of Staplehurst and the commercial viability of the village centre,” she said.

“First it was the petrol station, then the bank, now it’s the post office, what will be next?

“There is a real danger that the spirit of our much loved villages, like Staplehurst, is being eroded and this is all while the housing in the area is growing.

“I would therefore urge local people to engage with the Post Office and ensure their views are heard.”

Neighbouring MP Tom Tugendhat warned colleagues in the House of Commons earlier this year that he was concerned some of the county’s towns and villages were becoming “dormitories for London”.

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