Public meeting will be held tonight over the future of Diss Post Office
- Credit: Archant � 2009
Members of the community will tonight meet to discuss the future of Diss Post Office.
The Post Office announced in January that it would be shutting its Chapel Street premises - which it has occupied for more than 60 years - and looking to relocate as a franchise within another shop in the town.
It cited a change in consumer habits and the cost of maintaining town centre premises as the main reason for the move.
But since the announcement was made there has been an outcry from residents, with more than 1,000 people signing a petition to save the stand-alone branch.
Tonight, supporters of the post office will come together in a public meeting at Diss Youth and Community Centre to express their concern over the potential franchising.
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Speaking at the meeting will be Richard Bacon MP, Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull and Andy Furey, national officer of the Communication Workers' Union.
Mr Bacon said: 'The Post Office must understand that Diss Crown Post Office is one of the busiest anywhere and is at the heart of the community.
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'In such relocation' exercises, WHSmith sometimes takes up the franchise but that is unrealistic in Diss, where the Smiths branch is tiny and unsuitable for disabled access.'
Mr Bacon's fears are also echoed by others in the town.
Brigette Butcher, who helped organise the meeting and online petition, said: 'It's not feasible for either McColls or WHSmith to take the Post Office. There simply isn't space and no disabled access.
'We are very fortunate to have this on our doorstep and I just don't understand why the Post Office wants to close a perfectively good business. It's very short-sighted.'
Ahead of tonight's meeting, she said: 'I hope its going to be well supported, and I'm hoping it will boost our MP's confidence in the support there is for the post office within the community.'
The public meeting will commence at 6pm, further information on the campaign to save Diss Post Office can be found here