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Town post office closes days after it loses its bank

Richard McHale of Bawtry Residents Group, Mayor of Bawtry Alan Claypole, and Bawtry Residents Group chairnman Doug Cartwright, outside the closed bank in Bawtry. Picture: David Kessen
Richard McHale of Bawtry Residents Group, Mayor of Bawtry Alan Claypole, and Bawtry Residents Group chairnman Doug Cartwright, outside the closed bank in Bawtry. Picture: David Kessen
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First their bank closed - with residents told they would be able to use their post office instead.

But now community leaders in Bawtry say they have been left high and dry after the post office they were told to head to closed just days later.

Now concerned residents are calling for answers, while the town council draws up plans to help those who have been left unable to get to their money.

Royal Bank of Scotland announced its plans to close its Bawtry Market Place Nat West branch last year as part of a programme of closures across the country. It closed at the end of May.

Residents were told they would be able to make deposits and withdrawals from the nearby Post Office in the Today's Local shop on Station Road.

But the following week, the post office counter closed, with a notice outside the shop announcing it.

It stated: "This Post Office branch is temporarily closed.

"As and alternative, you may wish to use the Post Office branches listed below."

It goes on to list branches at Tickhill, Harworth and Rossington.

Doug Cartwright, chairman of Bawtry Residents Group, said: "It's a double whammy, with the bank closure too.

"There was a local campaign when it was announced the bank would shut, but it was a lost battle. It was disappointing, given the size of Bawtry. It has 3,500 residents. But they said people people could pay in at the post office.

"It is so frustrating - we don't know what is happening.

"There are elderly residents who have contacted me who live week to week. We know they're a commercial organisation, but the community needs help."

He has contacted MP Caroline Flint over the issue.

Chairman of Bawtry Town Council, Alan Claypole, said the town council was making plans to help.

He said: "The council has made a decision to ensure that senior residents of the town have access to Post Office Services. We are going to put on transport, and we're trying to sort that out at present."

Doncaster Councillor Rachael Blake has arranged transport from Bawtry to Tickhill Post Office, on a red 16 seat minibus.

This week it picks up outside the closed Post Office in Bawtry on Tuesday at 10.30am, travels to Tickhill Post Office and then returns the residents to Bawtry.

A Post Office spokesperson said: ““We sincerely apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Bawtry Post Office.

“We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services. We would like to reassure customers that the decision to suspend services at any of our branches is never taken lightly. We take very seriously any decision to temporarily close a branch, and will only do so when it is warranted.

“We are working hard to restore services for the community as quickly as possible.”