RESIDENTS are campaigning to keep open two Pontypool post offices which are earmarked for closure.

Pontypool's High Street branch and the Freehold-land office in Pontnewynydd will be shut down in October, the Post Office has announced. It has written to subpostmasters at the two branches saying it wants to close them because they are uneconomic and underused.

The Post Office has invited local people to write to it if they disagree. A Post Office spokesman said: "We will listen to what people tell us and to see if we have missed anything from our review of the area."

Both affected subpostmasters, Ken Morris at High Street and Tula Bounds at Freeholdland, declined to comment. But local people, backed by councillors, are fighting to save what was described as a "vital local service".

Wainfelin councillor, Yvonne Warren, is leading the fight against the closure of the High Street branch.

"I'm furious about this," she said. "They are taking away yet another vital local service.

"People will either have to walk up a two-mile hill or they will be hostage to the bus times.

"I'm calling on people to write to the Post Office to tell them what they think." A group of around 20 people gathered outside the High Street branch last week to show their feelings.

Sheila Jones was representing people from the nearby Waun Wern caravan park.

"This is used by people who are elderly and the disabled. It's very hard for them to make their way to town. What are they to do?" she asked.

Margaret Gait, 67, added: "For us this is about pride. We want to be independent. It already hurts me to think how I have to rely on other people for things. This will make it worse.

"We will be writing to the Post Office about this. It may not do any good, but we have to show we are still alive and kicking."

Community councillor Huw Corfield added: "As communities we need to support these offices to stem the tide of closures."

If you feel strongly about these closures, you have until August 28 to write to Dave Barrett, Post Office Ltd, c/o National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St Albans, AL1 5XN.