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Postmaster's fears for business

PUBLISHED: 10:12 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010

A Sheringham sub-postmaster concerned for the future of his business has presented a 350-signature petition against post office closures to north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

A Sheringham sub-postmaster concerned for the future of his business has presented a 350-signature petition against post office closures to north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.

After Andrew Worsdale began working behind the counter at Cromer Road Post Office four years ago, he set up an on-site vintage record store in an attempt to boost trade.

The store and post office have since gone from strength to strength and, when Mr Worsdale bought the business 18 months ago, he felt positive about its future.

But the Post Office has since announced the closure of 2,500 offices across the country, and in a town with two offices within a mile of each other Mr Worsdale fears a questionmark hangs over his future.

“Until it became apparent how the programme of closures was progressing in other parts of the country, I felt quite relaxed, but some very busy offices have closed, and with the process about to start in Norfolk, I am quite worried,” he said.

After being visited by Mr Lamb, who offered his support, Mr Worsdale collected 350 customer signatures.

“We gathered these in just one week, which serves to illustrate the depth of public disquiet about this issue,”

he said. “I am still collecting signatures and although this is a privately-owned business, I am providing a public service, and I am as keen as my customers are to see this office stay open.”

Proposed closures will be announced in March, and it has been estimated that 17pc of post offices in Norfolk could shut for good.

“Since the programme was launched, we have lived in a state of total uncertainty and we are now moving into a critical phase in this part of the country,” said Mr Worsdale.

“I am not whingeing and I don't want a subsidy, I would just hate to see a well-supported post office like this one sacrificed to keep a less well-used one open.”

At the beginning of the consultation period, notices will be displayed at post offices earmarked for closure, with the public given six weeks to respond.

“What worries me is that, by that time, things will be cut and dried, so I want people to be ready to make their feelings known,” said Mr Worsdale.

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