A SOLICITOR has attacked the Post Office's decision to close 11 branches in the region, claiming its consultation process in relation to one site was flawed.

Middlesbrough solicitor Nigel Boddy yesterday wrote to Post Office Ltd demanding to know what law enabled them to close Neville Parade Post Office, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

He claims the two-month consultation period was flawed because the nearby Simpasture Gate Post Office, given as an alternative, was closed for part of the time.

He also questioned why the decision was taken to pay compensation to post masters and mistresses when, in the case of Neville Parade, there was another retailer prepared to provide the service.

Mr Boddy, who helped lead a campaign against the closure of Neville Parade post office, said: "I am demanding to know what Act of Parliament empowers them to do what they are doing. I don't know how they can do this under these circumstances."

A spokesman for Post Office Ltd said the decision to close branches in Newton Aycliffe, Durham, Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Stanley and Consett, was final.

He said the consultation process was carried out to a set standard, adding that there were too many post offices competing for the same amount of business.