Villagers’ anger over plan to shut delivery offices in Ketton and Easton-on-the-Hill

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VILLAGERS are rallying against plans to close two rural delivery offices.

Royal Mail wants to relocate the sorting and delivery facilities attached to post offices in Ketton and Easton-on-the-Hill.

This could leave residents facing a trip to the delivery office in Orton Southgate, Peterborough to pick up post with a surcharge.

It would also mean delivery staff, most of whom live locally, would have to travel up to 60 miles between offices on top of their usual daily rounds.

Ketton is 15.1 miles away from the Peterborough office while Easton-on-the-Hill is 13.7 miles away.

A petition against the closure of the Ketton delivery office has attracted more than 1,000 signatures. Parish councillors and residents in both villages have been fighting the plans.

Ketton Parish Council chairman Coun Glenis Southern has written to Rutland MP Alan Duncan and Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene outlining the village’s concerns.

She said: “Closure could affect the viability of the shop and post office. There is anxiety that we could be without a post office.

“When you live in a rural area it is really important to maintain the service you have. People are concerned all this chipping away at what we have would leave a large village with very little.

“The petition shows how important the village feels the office is. The parish council is supportive of those residents who feel that this is not the way forward.

Postmistress in Easton on the Hill, Bant Dhillon, said her business would be affected if the delivery office were to close.

She said: “The office is not suitable for retail space. It is going to have an impact on deliveries and they could be late. I have written to our MP Louise Mensch and a number of councillors. They are all with me and would like the facility to stay local.”

Royal Mail says no decisions have yet been made and it is looking at all possibilities.

Lead collection and delivery sector manager, Duncan Stephenson, said: “We are still scoping these relocations and expect to be able to share more information shortly.

“Customers can be reassured that we would do all we can to minimise disruption to customers and ensure we maintain the high level of service they expect and deserve from Royal Mail.”

Ketton has four delivery staff while Easton-on-the-Hill has one Royal Mail confirmed there would be no compulsory redundancies for delivery staff if the offices are closed. The delivery office in King’s Cliffe was relocated two weeks ago, although most of the staff were already based in Peterborough.