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January 7, 2009 7:17 PM

A senior Lib Dem councillor has has expressed delight over news that a High Heaton post office is to re-open after being closed for several months.

Councillor Greg Stone, Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle East welcomed the announcement that the Newton Road branch is to re-open.

Residents in the High Heaton area have been left with a journey of around a mile to branches at Four Lane Ends and at Chillingham Road after the branch shut.

The post office closed with only 48 hours notice after the sub-postmaster decided to quit for personal reasons.

The shop had been left closed for most of 2008, leaving the area under-served following the earlier closure of the Dovedale Gardens post office and there had been fears that the widespread closure programme which has seen eight branches close in Newcastle East constituency would spell the end.

However, confirmation has now been received that the Post Office will officially reopen from January 16 under new management, following refurbishment of the shop premises and removal of asbestos.

Greg Stone, who is also the local ward councillor for North Heaton, said: "I have had a huge number of people contact me regarding the future of this branch, with elderly residents at the Spinney and elsewhere on the High Heaton estate very anxious because they faced a long journey on foot across major roads to reach alternative branches.

"The local Lib Dem councillors have had a massive response to a petition to the Post Office asking them to make efforts to restore this service, as we were deeply concerned that they would use make the temporary closure a permanent one in their round of cutbacks.

"Consequently we are delighted to see the premises back in use, and would urge local residents to support this important local facility."