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Pride in the community

PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:52 05 July 2010

I WANT to pass on a big thank you, on behalf of all of the team at Southwold Post Office, to The Journal and Pleasurewood Hills for the fantastic Pride in the Community Awards evening on Monday.

I WANT to pass on a big thank you, on behalf of all of the team at Southwold Post Office, to The Journal and Pleasurewood Hills for the fantastic Pride in the Community Awards evening on Monday.

We feel very honoured to receive the award for Business of the Year. To have been included in a group of such outstanding individuals was a humbling experience. The fact that The Journal and readers have recognised our post office as making a positive contribution to the community is very heartening for us.

Many readers may be unaware that the future of all local post offices remains uncertain even after the recent round of closures from which we have suffered so badly in our community. Over four million people across the UK, including many residents of Southwold and Reydon, choose to receive their state pensions and benefits at the Post Office using the Post Office card account (POCA). However, this service is now under threat. The government is currently considering bids to run a new POCA from 2010 and we have serious concerns that they may award it to another bidder.

I believe that the Post Office is best placed to provide this service. There are still more post offices throughout the country than all of the banks and building societies put together. Without the POCA, it has been estimated that a further 3,000 Post Offices across the country will be forced to close. Coming on top of the latest round of closures which have already had such an impact on our own community, the loss of the card account may have even greater implications for our local service.

I should like to thank all of our customers who have recently completed cards asking our MP, John Gummer, to take action on this. In addition, I have asked him to write to the Prime Minister to urge that the Government awards the contract to the Post Office. If it fails to do so, the consequences for local post offices will be devastating.

We are very proud to have been honoured by The Journal and hope that we will be able to provide a service to the community for many years to come.

GUY MITCHELL

Southwold Post Office

High Street

Southwold

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