Villagers and politicians have united against changes to Post Office provision in Suffolk, which will see one community left without any Post Office service at all.

Earlier this week, the Post Office said that Kelsale would be losing its outreach service on March 20 with no replacement, while customers in Snape, Yoxford, Wangford and Walberswick will be served by a mobile Post Office, which will start two days after their outreach services end on March 25.

The plans are being implemented following the retirement of the Saxmundham postmaster, who ran the outreach services for the villages, but have sparked uproar among residents who fear reductions in opening hours and quality of service.

READ MORE: Kelsale residents will have to travel to Saxmundham

The EADT has also reported concerns from Carlton resident Maggie Strutt that the loss of the Kelsale service would cut off less mobile elderly and disabled residents who would have to travel to Saxmundham to visit the High Street Post Office there.

Her fears have been backed by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey.

Dr Coffey said: "It’s incredibly disappointing that the Post Office has decided to unilaterally close the Kelsale outreach service and deem that the village will not be served by a mobile facility.

READ MORE: Plans still being 'finalised' for Kelsale Post Office

"Despite the relatively close distance between Kelsale and Saxmundham, many residents use the Kelsale service and it will be much more difficult for them to access services in Saxmundham than the Post Office realise.

"Given that the Post Office has been deaf to pleas in helping rural communities, I recently met the Post Office minister, Kevin Hollinrake, who has agreed to make representations directly.

"Given the ongoing subsidy to support rural services, I hope this will help change minds."

READ MORE: Saxmundham news

The proposal to provide a mobile Post Office has also caused concern, with campaigners in Wangford suggesting the number of outreach hours could be reduced by as much as 84%.

East Suffolk councillor Paul Ashton, who represents Wangford, called for the mobile Post Office to stop near the village hall, rather than a layby, so customers could shelter from the rain.

Wangford parish councillor Sara Farrands said villagers had fought to have an outreach service, which has run for 11 years, after the village Post Office closed, adding that this service was more 'valuable than ever' due to nearby banks closing.

“The Kelsale service will close completely whilst the current outreach services provided in village halls, which are warm, spacious and free of charge, will be replaced by a mobile post office with a huge reduction in the number of hours and a reduction in quality of service for the other villages.

"None of us has been told why the Post Office is making these changes,” she said.

A petition has been sent to Mr Hollinrake calling for the implementation of the plans to be stopped and for consultations with representatives of the villages involved.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We have reviewed Post Office service provision and Kelsale is in close proximity (1.3 miles) to Saxmundham Post Office, which is open six days a week.

"We believe that this branch will meet the needs of the Kelsale community.

"There is a regular bus service from Kelsale to Saxmundham and a car park nearby.

"A mobile Post Office service is to be provided for Walberswick, Yoxford, Wangford and Snape due to the distance to the nearest alternative branch.”

READ MORE: Suffolk news