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Baildon Post Office wins a stay of execution
Baildon’s post office, which suddenly closed last week because its counters were too short under new regulations, is to re-open on Monday, its delighted owner revealed last night.
Kareem Sweiss closed the Westgate shop last Friday, exasperated that new Post Office rules meant his counters were not wide enough and therefore he could not sell the 30-year-old business as a going concern.
But after reports in the Telegraph & Argus and a massive public outcry in which Shipley MP Philip Davies wrote to Post Office bosses and petitions were organised by irate local residents, Mr Sweiss had a breakthrough meeting yesterday afternoon.
“I had a meeting with executives and they want me to open on Monday to return things to the status quo and deliver this much-needed service to the people of Baildon,” he said.
“I was fearful that closing the shop last week would prompt a negative reaction by I’ve only had tremendous support from people.”
Mr Sweiss put an emotional letter in the window of the shop explaining the factors behind its closure.
“People have offered me hope, prayers and support saying it was such a shame for it to happen to Baildon and to me.
“Now the Post Office have asked me to re-open and allow three weeks for them to have internal discussions to make Baildon Post Office into an exceptional case.”
Mr Sweiss said he had a keen potential buyer for the business if that happened.
“Then the sale could go ahead and the service to the public would be unhindered,” he said.
“It is such a relief to have a lifeline.
“I’m not quite rejoicing yet, but I have satisfaction that what I did in shutting the shop made people sit up and take notice.
“I’m a Christian and I’ve held it in my prayers and this is the best I can expect at this time.”
Bradford councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon) has been trying to organise transport for pensioners to other post offices and said she was very pleased at the stay of execution.
“Everyone will be delighted by this.
“I and everyone have had loads of calls from people about the post office.
“Elderly people really need it, as do local traders. It’s very good news for the town.”