Ruffley to call Meeting to fight new Post Office closure on Moreton Hall

Wednesday, 28 January, 2004

David Ruffley has joined forces with local Borough Councillors, Frank Warby and Terry Buckle to fight the threatened closure of Moreton Hall Post Office.

David has called a public meeting to be held in Moreton Hall on the evening of Friday, 13th February. Full details of the time and venue will be circulated to residents and posted locally.

Both MP and Councillors are equally concerned about the threat of closure following the takeover of the One Stop Shop in Lawson Place, Moreton Hall by Tesco who have indicated that they do not want to retain the post office within the shop. It has been rumoured that they want to replace it with a bakery.

David Ruffley has written to Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of Tesco plc, asking for an urgent reply as to Tesco's intentions for the future of the One Stop shop.

David said: 'The spate of post office closures in the town is now getting beyond a joke. Following recent announcements regarding the closure of both Southgate and Eastgate post offices this is yet another shock to the town. I vow to fight this threatened closure. If Tesco refuse to retain the post office within their Lawson's Place shop we must find an alternative site for the post office to operate from.'

The text of David's letter is as follows:

One Stop Shop & Post Office, Lawson Place, Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds

I understand that Tesco have taken over the chain of One Stop shops, one of which is in my constituency in Moreton Hall. The shop contains the local Post Office which faces closure as a result of the takeover.

I should be most grateful to know your intentions regarding the future of the Post Office in the Moreton Hall One Stop shop as a matter of urgency. I know that you are presently in discussion with the Post Office nationally over this issue. An early response as to whether or not you intend to keep the Post Office open would be much appreciated. The public perception locally is that the Post Office will close when the takeover becomes effective in May.

This potential closure has caused huge anxiety in Moreton Hall and beyond. Moreton Hall itself has a population of over 4,000 people but the total catchment area of this Post Office could extend to thousands more once the announced closures of Southgate and Eastgate Post Offices in Bury St Edmunds town centre take effect.

As one of the major retailers in Bury St Edmunds, with your superstore at the site of the A14/Bury St Edmunds Central interchange, I am sure you will wish to let the local public have information on the future of Moreton Hall Post Office as soon as possible.

I plan to call a public meeting for the evening of Friday, 13th February- time and venue to be confirmed but provisionally 7.30 p.m. at a venue in Moreton Hall. I should be grateful if you could send a representative of Tesco to the meeting to answer questions from the public.

David Ruffley MP