RESIDENTS are being urged to support two Sheffield post offices which were reinstated two years ago, so they can stay open after £130,000 of grant funding to support them runs out next year.
Branches at Nether Green and Ecclesall were among 15 axed in 2008 but reopened supported by grants from Sheffield Council.
The old Lib Dem administration set aside a total of £500,000 to restore post offices. After £130,000 was allocated for Nether Green and Ecclesall, the remaining £370,000 was moved to the city’s Economic Fighting Fund to help businesses.
Post Office managers said restoring more sites would harm the viability of other surviving branches.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose Hallam constituency includes both reopened sites at Oakbrook Deli, Nether Green, and Red Store, on Ecclesall Road South, is calling on residents to use the branches to ensure they stay viable when grants cease.
Mr Clegg called into the Oakbrook Deli branch to show his support.
He said: “Post offices are important to local people and businesses because they provide vital services at the heart of the community. That is why we campaigned against the closure plan and local Liberal Democrats took action to ensure some of Sheffield’s post offices re-opened.
“I’m pleased to be able to drop into my local Post Office to lend my support. It is important this community facility remains open so we should get behind it.”
Fulwood ward Lib Dem councillor, Andrew Sangar, added: “Ensuring Post Office services on Oakbrook Road continued, despite the huge national closure programme, was a great achievement.
“After fighting so hard to see a Post Office on Oakbrook Road stay open, it is important we now support it. If too few people use it we could face the prospect of closure again once the grant runs out next year.”
Nether Green residents called for their branch to be open for longer to make it more popular.
Catherine Holmshaw, a civil servant who lives in the suburb, said: “I think post offices are an essential part of the community. The problem at Nether Green is that the branch is open too few hours.
“It is only trading on weekday mornings but not Saturdays, so if you are at work in the week you cannot use it and I find that quite frustrating.”