News that Haslemere’s main post office may close when its lease terminates at the end of June has drawn criticism from Chamber President David Goddin.

He was invited to comment on a statement issued by the Post Office to the Haslemere Herald.

The Post Office said: “The lease at Haslemere Post Office is due to expire at the end of June. The branch may become temporary (sic) closed. We are committed to maintaining a Post Office in Haslemere.

“The branch is run by a temporary Postmaster and we are looking for a permanent solution. The vacancy is currently being advertised on our website Alternative branches in the area include Hindhead and Fernhurst.

“We are also working hard to restore Post Office service to Lion Green. We are not yet in a position to begin any public consultation on any plans.”

The President said withdrawal of Post Office facilities would be a severe blow to the town.

He said: “Despite the growth of email, the Post Office still provides a range of important services for the local business community and residents. Many people will be outraged at the loss of these services – even on a temporary basis.

“Offering Hindhead and Fernhurst as alternative branches may suit some users – but I suspect they will be inconvenient for the majority of Haslemere Post Office customers.

“Haslemere businesses are doing their best to boost the area’s economy by encouraging people to shop locally – and by attracting visitors. If the Post Office follows the banks out of town, economic confidence will undoubtedly suffer.

“The Post Office clearly has us very low on its priority list. Closure of the Lion Green facility was poorly handled and now it appears our historic central Post Office is going the same way.

“If the Post Office is genuinely committed to maintaining a branch in Haslemere it should already have its arrangements in place for the end of the current lease.

“I think we need to look within our community for a solution that ensures this vital public service remains accessible to as many people as possible.”