Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man post office closures: Over 1,000 sign petition

Image copyright Richard Hoare 'Geograph'
Image caption Campaigners condemned plans to replace the post offices with sub offices in local Spar shops

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for two post offices in the Isle of Man to be saved.

The main branches in Douglas and Ramsey are to close in 2015 to be replaced with sub post offices in local Spar shops, it was announced this week.

Campaigners have described the closures as "a disgrace and a travesty".

The Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) said both sub post offices will have the "same number of counters" as the current branches.

Local 'outcry'

On Wednesday evening, more than 100 people attended a meeting of the town's commissioners to protest the closure.

Chairman Captain Nigel Malpass said he had never seen such an "outcry over a local issue."

He said the Ramsey post office is the "heartbeat" of a four-year regeneration project.

IOMPO chairman Graham Cregeen said customers will receive the same "service and product offering" and that it remained "deeply committed" to retaining its retail network.

Image copyright Isle of Man Post Office
Image caption Mannin Retail said the sub post offices would retain the same amount of "till points"

The two branches account for more than two-thirds of annual £750,000 losses.

The decision will help "protect the whole Isle of Man retail network" and "could save £300,000 a year", he added.

The decision which received the full backing of the Council of Ministers will result in the loss of 19 post office posts.

Sub post offices will be located in current Spar stores near to the branches and will be run by Mannin Retail Ltd who said all staff affected have been offered positions.

Managing Director Peter Whittaker said: " Two thirds of our Douglas store will be dedicated to the post office and a third of our Ramsey store."

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