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Monthly News Bulletin

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Legal Bid to Stop Local Post Office Closure

Margaret Wellbelove, a disabled 63-year-old from John Simpson Drive, has refused to accept Post Office Ltd's decision to shut the branch and is prepared to take the fight all the way to the courts.

The branch was due to close yesterday (Wednesday) after appearing on a national hitlist, but Margaret feels the decision discriminates against her and other disabled residents of Stranraer.

She set the wheels in motion on Monday after seeking legal advice from her solicitor and is now waiting to find out if she can obtain Legal Aid to pursue an expensive judicial review.

Margaret said she does not want to be a hero, but will fight the closure of Sheuchan Street knowing she has the support of hundreds of local people. She added:

"I am not just doing it for me, but for the many people who will be deeply affected by the closure.

"With Tesco being the only other branch in a town of about 11,000 people, the closure of Sheuchan Street will have a big impact on elderly and disabled people.

"The disabled facilities at Tesco are very poor, with few disabled parking spaces forcing me to park further away and walk the extra distance.

"Then when you actually get into the store you have to fight through a wave of shoppers with trolleys who think they have the right of way, before joining a queue for upwards of half an hour.

"It isn't right and it is time someone took a stand."

Labour councillor Willie Scobie said he is delighted that Margaret has taken on this challenge and will do whatever he can to support her. He added:

"Margaret feels she is being robbed of an important service and that the closure will prejudice her because she is disabled.

"I am happy to lend her my support and I am sure the people of Stranraer will be behind her also. "She does not relish the thought of going to court, but feels it is something she has to do.

"Post Office Ltd have refused to accept the reality that many elderly and disabled people will be deeply affected by the closure of Sheuchan Street Post Office."

Margaret's campaign comes after Sussex pensioner, Judy Brown, recently launched a High Court battle against Post Office Ltd claiming the closures were illegal because they discriminated against disabled people.

FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK'S FREE PRESS

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