6:00am Thursday 19th September 2013
By Alistair Shand
A fight has been launched to save Keighley’s main post office.
Campaigners have called a public meeting in the town to rally support.
Union bosses say the popular post office – yards from Keighley bus station – is poised to be shut, putting 15 jobs under threat. Instead a facility would be provided in another retail outlet.
David Bowmaker, territorial representative for the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said: “There are hundreds of people who use this post office every day and we don’t think the same service could be matched by a few windows in the back of another shop.”
He said its closure would be a massive blow to townspeople and to the local economy.
“It is a dedicated office with good access arrangements in a prominent town centre position and is an essential part of the local economy,” he said.
“It’s a valuable asset to the town and is relied upon by local residents, including people who collect their pensions and benefits there, and businesses. The staff are well trained and have over 260 years of experience between them, which could be lost under the company’s plans to close this office and find what it calls a ‘retail partner’.”
He is urging as many people as possible to attend a meeting, at the Disabled People’s Centre, Temple Row, on Monday, September 30, at 1pm.
Speakers will include Carl Maden, national executive member of the CWU, and Post Office representatives have been invited to attend to explain the plans and receive feedback.
Post Office Ltd defended its decision to seek a retail partner, and pledged that the public would be consulted.
A spokesman said: “We recently shared with colleagues at the Keighley branch that whilst it is not possible to be specific about precise timescales, all being well and subject to consultation we expect to be in a position to convert Keighley Post Office to a retail partner within the current financial year.
“However, no decisions on the proposed partners have been made. Once more details are available then colleagues at the branch will be the first to know. We will only partner with retailers that share our passion for delivering the same great range of Post Office products and levels of customer service from an appropriate location for our customers. Once we believe we have found a suitable partner then customers’ views will be sought in a six-week public consultation.”
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