Post Office bosses say they are committed to ensuring community postal services are retained.

The board has responded to the resignation of vice chairman Tanya August-Hanson who says she cannot support the strategy of counter service closures.

Miss August-Hanson announced her resignation in a letter to Chief Minister Howard Quayle last week.

In a statement, the Post Office thanked Miss August-Hanson for her service, but added: ’The board strongly believes, contrary to her resignation statement, that its retail strategy and the roll-out are very much aligned.’

It pointed out that the authority’s transformation strategy had been approved and supported by Tynwald - including by Miss August-Hanson.

The board insisted it consults ’appropriately’ before making any decision to change services, again a process which has been followed throughout the former vice chairman’s tenure.

It added: ’Isle of Man Post Office is committed to ensuring postal services are retained in the communities which make up island life, while ensuring they are provided in a financially and socially responsible manner.

’Customer demand is a significant factor in the retail strategy in deciding how and where services will be provided in the future.’

Miss August-Hanson said she stood by the decisions she had made in support of the board through changes from a six to a five day week, employee pay grading and pensions reform.

She said all of these were focused on moving the Post Office back into profit responsibly.

Miss August-Hanson said she had also supported the board in bringing a retail strategy to Tynwald, where it was approved by members - but she could not ’in good faith’ support the board in its roll-out of that strategy.

She said: ’I don’t believe that a proper emphasis is being placed on how the public might best be served in their communities.’

The Post Office’s retail strategy was approved by Tynwald in October. But it has come under fire under plans to reduce counter services and replace them with self-service kiosks in certain branches.

Residents in Ballasalla are campaigning against the removal of counter services at the village’s sub post office.