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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 12:26 GMT
Post office branch closures named
Rural post office
Some rural post offices provide the only access to cash in their area
The Post Office has named 33 branches due to shut across west Berkshire and Wiltshire.

The closures were first announced in December as part of wider plans to reduce the number of branches nationally by up to 2,500.

A further six branches earmarked for closure will be reviewed by the Post Office watchdog, Postwatch, and eight will be replaced by outreach services.

The first branch closures are scheduled to start as early as April.

Post Office bosses claim the plans mean that 99% of the population will be within a mile of an alternative branch.

The government has said four million fewer people are using the current 14,000-strong network each week than two years ago.

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Tim Nicholls, area development manager for Post Office, said the decision had not been taken lightly.

"We have considered very carefully all the comments made during the public consultation," he said.

"We believe that the amended plan announced today offers our customers across west Berkshire and Wiltshire the best prospect for a sustainable network in the future, bearing in mind the government's minimum access criteria and the other factors the government has asked us to consider."

Ministers say cuts are needed as the business has been losing 4m a week.

There have been several regional announcements about Post Office closures across the UK since 2 October.

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