It is important that rural communities such as Long Itchington keep essential facilities like the Post Office, which is why I am very concerned by the decision made by the Heart of England Coop to close the Post Office counter which has been part of its Long Itchington village store for the past 18 years.
As we all know, Post Offices and in particular rural Post Offices, provide a vital service to the community and its closure will have an adverse impact on residents, particularly the elderly; those who are unable to drive and those who have mobility problems.
I regret that the Co-op made their decision without any prior consultation and as a result there is very little time to find a suitable alternative location within the village. After meeting with members of Long Itchington Parish Council I gave them my full support and wrote to Heart of England Co-op to express my concerns that the village would be without a regular Post Office counter and asked them to consider renting the existing counter to the Post Office. To date, I have not had a reply to my letter.
There is a distinct need for more facilities in Long Itchington, not less. Therefore I urge the Coop to reconsider and reverse its closure decision. Failing that, to work with the community to secure an alternative Post Office service in Long Itchington, and in the interim period continue to provide a Post Office service in the existing location until an alternative Post Office service is established.