PENSIONERS in Lover will miss out on vital services if Lover Post Office is closed, local councillor Jane Launchbury has warned.

She has written to Post Office network development manager Tim Nicholls objecting to the closure, on behalf of Redlynch Parish Council and of residents in Redlynch and Lover that she represents on Salisbury District Council, as part of the consultation process invited following news of the proposed closure of up to 3000 mostly rural post offices.

She says she has been told that the majority of the 100 people a week who use Lover post office are over 80 years old, making a bus journey to the next available post office in Woodfalls or Downton difficult.

She points out there is no direct bus route to Woodfalls and infrequent rural bus services mean that a trip to Downton would take the best part of two hours.

She also says that even if people can drive, parking at both post offices is inadequate with no provision for disabled parking.

"Just imagine that you are in your eighties and living in Lover. But you have just been told that you can no longer post a parcel, buy stamps, collect your pension, obtain your cash via personal banking, or meet a friendly face on a regular basis.

"What can you do?

"To retain your independence, you'll need to battle the elements for half a day a week to travel to a post office that is three villages away.

"Imagine doing that when you are also feeling unwell or confused or experiencing mobility problems."

She describes the proposal as a betrayal of the people she represents and feels there is a strong case for continuation of the service.

She also says that the planned closure is against the government's support of the principle of sustainable communities as Lover had already lost its village store, primary school and pub and withdrawal of the post office will leave it with just a small garage.

"If it is truly economically unviable to main the service in its existing form in Lover, I would request that a refular, mobile Post Office Outreach service is provided to the residents of Lover," she concludes.