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Post Office closure fears across Sussex
Campaigners are stepping up efforts to halt the planned closure of three high street post offices.
Last month it was announced that 70 Crown branches – sites that are owned directly by the Post Office – could close and “partner” with nearby stores.
Branches in Littlehampton, Uckfield and Hastings have all been listed as “looking for a retail partner”.
The Post Office claims the relocations will safeguard postal services in the towns.
A group of residents gathered in High Street, Uckfield, on Saturday, March 9 to protest against the move.
John Sones, from the Communication Workers Union, said moving the post office would be a “complete disaster” for the town.
He said: “If the post office closes, the north end of Uckfield will die because footfall will decrease. We would also lose the expertise of the staff.
“And what happens if the so-called ‘retail partner’ decides to pack up and leave? We would be left with no postal service at all.”
The move is aimed at stemming some of the £40 million annual losses at the Crown branches. If stores cannot be found to accommodate the post offices the company said it will not close the branches.
In Hastings, the Post Office plans to close the central branch and break up the services into local shops or banks.
Sarah Owen, the town’s Labour candidate for MP, said the proposals were “flawed”.
She said: “The central post office is an important part of our town centre.
"Ours is incredibly busy and to try and squeeze the public into already busy shops or banks will not work.
“People with prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters would struggle to get served. This plan is flawed and should be scrapped.”
A spokeswoman for the Post Office said: “We already have more than 3,000 branches where customers are accessing services in this way.
"We are still committed to having a Crown post office within the area. This is not a closure programme.”
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