No to post office closures

Sheffield protesters take high road

SHEFFIELD PEOPLE have taken to the hills to protest at threatened post office closures. On 6 September campaigners marched from two post offices to show how inaccessible Post Office Ltd’s so-called ‘alternative’ branches are.

Joe Buckley reports from Silverhill: “30 of us protested outside the post office for an hour. We took more petition signatures bringing our total to around 3,000. Then we held an uphill protest walk but many just couldn’t do it, one woman commenting: “I’ll never manage to get all the way up there”.

“Even worse, a 79-year-old lady collapsed after the ‘hill march’ from Derbyshire Lane post office. Fortunately she recovered after an ambulance was called, but insisted that Calendar TV was contacted to tell them what happened, to show dramatically why they shouldn’t close that post office!”

Edd Mustill explains: “About 50 people attempted the descent to the next nearest post office, 0.9 miles away as the crow flies but with a gradient like the last mile of Everest. That’s how arduous this journey would be for many of Derbyshire Lane’s regular customers to make.”

Most protests were organised under the umbrella of Sheffield Communities Against Post Office Closures (SCAPOC), the broad-based city wide campaign initiated by the Socialist Party. 20 SCAPOC supporters lobbied last week’s council meeting, presenting more petitions and demanding more action from the Lib-Dem council.

This pressure forced the council to call a meeting with all affected sub-postmasters and local campaigns but they still voted against a Green Party amendment to support the ‘Essex model’ of keeping branches open and against supporting SCAPOC’s city centre demo on 20 September.