Fight to save Long Itchington post office continues

The Co-op in Long Itchington
The Co-op in Long Itchington

More than 1,000 people in Long Itchington have signed a petition as part of the ongoing campaign to save the village’s post office.

Just after Christmas the Co-op in the village announced its parent company, the Heart of England Co-op (HoE Co-op), would be closing the store’s post office counter this month.

Since then villagers have formed an action group to try to get HoE Chiefs to reverse the company’s decision.

Paper and online petitions were launched by group members in January and have gained about 1,300 signatures - about 70 per cent of the village’s population excluding children who could not sign the document.

In the comments made by those who have signed, one villager said: “As a parent of two who does not drive the closure of this post office would have an effect on me and my family.

“I use the post office for many things such as paying bills and sending mail - also the cashpoint outside the shop often breaks down and the only other way to get cash is from the post office.

“I also worry about the effect it will have on elderly people who cannot travel far to collect their pension. With the ever-growing population of this village this decision makes no sense at all.”

Another has said: “For many of the older generation, the local post office offers a way of life, it provides weekly and monthly routines, keeps the mind sharp and encourages them to leave the house if living alone. This also helps them socially.

“Take this away from them and what is left?”

At a meeting on Wednesday February 3 HoE Co-op chiefs told members of Long Itchington Parish Council that they would not reverse their decision.

But on Thursday the action group presented the paper petition to Co-op representatives.

Group member Christopher Purser said: “The community believes that the HoE Co-op should take notice of this level of objections and at least reconsider their decision, particularly given the origins and ethos of the Co-operative movement which are based on community and social considerations. Its decisions shouldn’t be purely based on profit.

“In 2015 the HoE Co-op completed the £600,000 refurbishment of the village branch and this resulted in a 25 to 30 per cent increase in sales.”

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