Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

COUNTER ATTACK; Hundreds Sign Petition to Save Post Office

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

COUNTER ATTACK; Hundreds Sign Petition to Save Post Office

Article excerpt

Byline: KATH MacCOLL

HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition to save one of the busiest post offices in Cleveland which is set for closure at the end of the month.

The Coulby Newham post office, based in the Parkway Shopping Centre, looks certain to shut on February 27.

The news has stunned the local community which is mounting a spirited fight back.

Postmistress Sue Edgar believes the high rent prices set by agents for the owners of the Parkway Centre is deterring potential clients -an cd she says the business is one of the busiest in the area with 14,000 transactions made in January alone. The closure, she says, will have a huge impact on families and pensioners in the Coulby area, as well as other businesses in the centre.

She has drawn up a petition for customers to sign calling for the post office to stay open.

"It will have an absolutely devastating affect.

We are one of the busiest post offices in the area -constant footfall, and of course people spend where they have got their money out so this will affect shops nearby," she said.

The owner of the Parkway Centre, PBN Property, based in Belfast, say they have been working hard to keep the post office open but any business must be commercially viable.

Sue Edgar, 52, took over the post office temporarily last summer and says talks have been on going for weeks to save the business but they've now reached an impasse and the business will close. Her daughter, Sonja, 28, is manager of the shop and says they have a loyal and elderly clientbase.

"Many of the customers who come here are elderly and often pop in for social reasons. I have no idea where they would go if they couldn't come here because it's part of the community," she said.

Councillor Paul Thompson, who represents the Coulby Newham ward, said he would take the matter up with local MP Ashok Kumar. …

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