THE closure of a Bodmin pharmacy has been criticised by North Cornwall’s MP as he seeks to persuade its operators to reverse the decision.

It comes as Asda confirmed plans to close the pharmacy within its Bodmin branch at the end of July 2024.

Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, has written to Asda’s public affairs manager in the hope of persuading them to remain open.

The supermarket chain said it was commercially unviable to keep it open due to ‘falling customer numbers’ – despite the branch often being busy and the MP being inundated by customers affected by the closure, which was announced to them by its staff.

In the public letter to Daniel Russell, public affairs manager for Asda, the MP wrote: “I am writing to express my deep concerns about plans to close the pharmacy within the Bodmin Asda store in my North Cornwall constituency.

“The pharmacy is a vital asset for our town and the surrounding areas, as many of my constituents and people from further afield use it regularly.

“Since news of the potential closure became public, dozens of constituents have contacted me to voice their fears about the loss of the pharmacy.

“Working people use the pharmacy due to its opening hours, and any closure will deeply affect them.

“Disabled people with limited mobility use the pharmacy because of its proximity to the disabled parking within the store.

“Parents use the pharmacy when their children are ill.

“These are just three of the main groups in our community that will be forced to find alternative methods of finding over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

“There is also the question of convenience for the wider public and Asda customers who use the pharmacy when they are doing their shopping.

“I would like to ask Asda, in the strongest of terms to reconsider any decision to shut the pharmacy within the Bodmin store and make a clear commitment to the North Cornwall public that the pharmacy within the store will remain open. I look forward to your response and further positive discussions with you.”

An Asda spokesperson, confirming the closure, said: “Sadly, the changes to boost profitability haven’t addressed the long-term decline in customer numbers.

“In-store healthcare remains an important part of our customer proposition and we will continue to operate 247 pharmacies across the UK.

“Our Bodmin pharmacy has been loss-making for a number of years due to a continuous decline in customer usage and we have now reached a position where it is no longer financially viable to keep it open.

“We are now entering a period of consultation with our colleagues on these proposals and will do all we can to support them through this process.”