Published: 07:00, 30 April 2015
Determined campaigners fighting against the closure of Whitstable’s Post Office have warned their occupation of the site was “just the beginning” of their protest.
Around 15 campaigners stayed inside the Gladstone Road office until midnight last night after an earlier demonstration was attended by more than 100 people.
Whitstable’s 40,000 residents will now have to travel to Tankerton, Seasalter and Swalecliffe after the town centre office closed yesterday.
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Julie Wassmer, from campaign group Save Whitstable Crown Post Office, today said she is pleased with how the occupation went.
She said: “This is just the beginning.
“It was great – it was exactly what we wanted to happen.
“The whole point was to highlight the situation and we occupied the building to highlight its unnecessary closure by Post Office Ltd.”
At least two police cars were called to the scene during the occupation, and protesters said a senior officer has threatened to call in a police van if they did not leave the premises.
It ended peacefully just after midnight when the campaigners left.
Ms Wassmer added: “We left at midnight and I gave a statement to all the people there that we had essentially achieved our goal for the occupation which was to highlight the situation.
“It was Whitstable’s last post and we were making the last stand but this will not be the last protest on this.
“We are demanding that we have a temporary post office put on that car park immediately. There is no reason why it should be there.
“We have to have it there for the business people, residents and visitors in this town.”
Video: Campaigners protest against the post office's closure
Campaigners are demanding that the town retains its crown service, that it immediately opens a temporary Post Office service within portacabins on the Gladstone Road car park, and is also calling for a guarantee of services in Whitstable.
A Post Office spokesman said it is committed to maintaining a service.
Kathryn Hollingsworth said: “We are committed to keeping Post Office services in Whitstable we have identified a temporary site for a portakabin in Gladstone Road car park, where it will be run until a long-term franchise partner is found.
“While the terms of the lease at the temporary site are sorted out the branch will close on Wednesday 29 April, and we are trying to keep the break in service to an absolute minimum.
“During this time, customers may wish to use other branches, such as Tankerton Post Office on Tankerton Road and Seasalter Post Office on Joy Lane.”
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