Closure of Bellgate Post office in Hemel Hempstead will '˜hit pensioners hard'

OAPs will be the hardest hit when Highfield Post Office closes next month.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 1:45 pm
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 2:53 pm
Cllr Brenda Link (left), outside Bellgate Post Office

Highfield Post Office, in Bellgate’s Co Op store, will close its doors on Saturday October 13.

Councillors say OAPs will be the most affected by the closure, as the Post Office is the only one in the Highfield area that offers counter services like pension collection.

Cllr Ron Tindall, and Highfield Councillor Brenda Link, in a joint statement said: “Many local residents have relied on its services to avoid going into town.

“Older residents, and those not on the internet, will be hard hit as they rely on the local post office to pay bills, transfer money and perform numerous other transactions that others take for granted.”

Cllr Tindall, added that the nearest post office counter is a over a mile away.

He said: “It is a disaster. As Hemel is divided into communities older residents would have to cross major roads to reach a post office.”

“I hope we can find an alternative venue for those affected.”

One resident shared concerns on the Post Office’s 
closure, and its effect on the older community.

He said: “I have an elderly relative who lives within walking distance of Bellgate post office and normally collects their pension from there.

“This is going to take away some of their independence as they are now going to have to rely on relatives to collect it for them.”

A spokesman from Post Office said: “We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services. We are committed to providing a Post Office in the area.

“We are trying to avoid any temporary closure. Alternative branches in the area include Grove Hill, Adeyfield, and Hemel Hempstead.

“The Co-op shop is closing down as they have lost a lot of business due to the new Tesco being opened opposite.”