Sunderland post office closes despite protests

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A CITY post office has shut up shop despite calls to keep it open.

The Ormonde Street branch had its last day of trading at the weekend, before services were moved to the nearby Spar shop on Ewesley Road.

Residents have spoken out against the move, which forms part of the Post Office revitalisation programme to introduce new-style branches.

Locals have said they are sad to see the long-serving post office go.

Margaret Scott, 58, who works at Barnes Court Care Home, said: “I do sometimes use it, so it’s awful to see it shut.”

Irene Young, 61, a part-time receptionist from Barnes, said: “A lot of people round here use it.”

But Ms Young said she will be using the internet instead.

“I do a lot of things online anyway. The only time I would go to the Spar is if I needed to get stamps.”

Post Office services started at Spar yesterday.

While most services will remain the same, some will not be available, including change-giving, international parcels, the “local collect” service and trans-cash bills.

Adam Richardson, 23, a call centre worker from Barnes, said he understood people’s upset at the closure.

Mr Richardson said: “I don’t agree with merging these two different things into one place. I can understand why people are so bothered.”

Barnes councillor Tony Morrissey said: “I’m sorry that it’s the end of this post office branch, but it is some consolation that the Spar will take over services and I think we need to give it a chance to see how the new system works.

“They have taken away the more complex services, which might reduce queues, but staff training and worries about confidence are there.”

Coun Morrissey added: “The worst thing that could have happened is that it shut down and there was no replacement. Just ask people on Hylton Road about that, but I think that most people have reconciled themselves with the closure, though I’m yet to meet anybody who is happy about it.

“It is better to have 75 per cent of services than none at all.”

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