MORE than a thousand signatures have been collected on a petition, backed by an MP, to save Dodworth’s only Post Office from closure.

The post office, which is based inside Cohens Chemist, is due to close in summer 2019 and will mean residents will have to travel outside of the village to use the nearest Post Office.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Postmaster who runs Dodworth Post Office is has given us notice and the service is due to temporarily close in summer 2019. The branch is run independently and while we always work hard to maintain Post Office services, from time to time, branches do temporarily close. When this happens, we always look to restore services as quickly as possible, as we know how important Post Offices are to communities.”

David Lock, 57, owner of Locked in Time which is based in Dodworth said the closure could be detrimental to both residents and small business owners like him who rely on the convenience of having a village post office.
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He said: “In Dodworth we’ve got the oldest demographic in Barnsley, they need it for postage, parcels, picking things up and retrieving their pensions. Banks are shutting down everywhere so the Post Office is a necessity. It is bang in the centre of Dodworth too so its easy to get to for the elderly, it will be a real shame if it closes and doesn't get replaced.”

A petition started by another business owner has so far received 1,098 signatures and the backing of MP Angela Smith.

Angela said: “The news that Cohens Chemist has confirmed it will be closing its Post Office concession in the summer is disappointing and will be concerning for residents in Dodworth.

“I have written to Post Office Counters asking for an urgent meeting to discuss, now the closure has been confirmed what provisions will be put in place to make sure post office counter services are maintained in the area after the present concession ceases to trade.”

Claire Wainwright, owner of The Dressing Room also based in Dodworth, wanted to remind residents not to avoid the chemist in the midst of this news.

She said: “It’s not as cut and dry as the chemist not wanting the post office and getting rid, it’s a case of not being able to afford the post office. It’s a rubbish situation but I don’t want to lose the pharmacy in the fight for a post office.

“The pharmacist has said that people are boycotting getting prescriptions from there in protest of the post office going but this is counter productive.”

Claire said she is concerned about the future of Dodworth because of this and also previous issues with Dodworth Medical Centre which was placed in special measures in September this year.

She said: “Do we really want to lose a pharmacy after losing faith in our doctors surgery and the post office? I’m concerned about the residents and what this will mean for the future of Dodworth. I’m concerned as a business owner too