A COMMUNITY is fighting back against the potential closure of a town’s post sorting office.

A petition has been launched after it was revealed Royal Mail is considering transferring the service from Sedbergh to Kendal.

The office’s postal master Peter Jackson described how the closure of the delivery office would cause several problems for the community who rely on its services.

He said: “Because the post office as a brand don’t pay the post offices enough to be independent units, we need other bits to make the whole thing work, like retail, banking, and the sorting office.

“If one element disappears it calls into question our viability financially.

“They wish to relocate to Kendal which makes no sense. A lot of our post staff live in Sedbergh and it makes no sense to send them to Kendal before making them bring it all back.

“Financially it makes no sense and could be catastrophic. If the sorting office goes, we may have to close.

“There are no banks in the town so we do that here, and we sort the postage. It’s a hub for the community and it is needed more than ever.

“It’s vital for the town.

“Our nearest places would be Kendal or Kirkby Lonsdale which are too far away.

A Royal Mails spokesman confirmed that while the organisation is considering transferring some services from their Sedbergh Delivery Office to Kendal, no final decision has been taken.

Royal Mail also said if they did decide to cease to have a delivery office at the Post Office in Sedbergh they would give six months’ notice and would pay an additional 12 months’ rent as a lump sum at the end when they left.

The campaign to keep the office open has been supported by MP Tim Farron, and members of the community who fear that the removal of the delivery office would lead to the closure of the Post Office completely in the area.

Mr Farron and local councillors Hazel Hodgson and Ian Mitchell have given their support to the campaign.

“Royal Mail clearly haven’t thought this through,” said Mr Farron.

“Our post offices in Sedbergh, Barbon, Dent and Endmoor are so important to local people but they have been needlessly but under threat by this decision.

“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has signed this petition so far - we will be presenting it to Royal Mail in the coming weeks and I hope that the strength of feeling from residents will help them see sense.”

Ian Mitchell, Councillor for Sedbergh & Kirkby Lonsdale, said: “After the banks closed the town was left with no banking, so the post office is the only access people have without traveling to Kendal for basic services.

“It would be devastating. If this post office closed it would prevent more services out going to Dent, Endmoor and Barbon.

“It would affect several communities in one.

“We’ve had no official word from Royal Mail, and we only heard this from the managers.

“It’s worrying it’s not being communicated.

“We are trying to get a meeting with Tim and the managers to discuss this.

“There are not many hubs left, and I think they are going from our communities more and more.

“I’m concerned as Sedbergh is preparing for 50 new houses and they’re being left with less infrastructure.”

The concern for local businesses who depend on the office for banking has also been voiced.

Al Wilson, of Emma Louise Wilson Ceramics, said: “The closure of the delivery office will put other services offered by Sedbergh PO at risk.

“Running a small ceramic business in a rural area, I rely on these services to operate.

“Having to go further afield for these will add to the current pressures in what is already challenging situation.”