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Keighley post office 'losing £200,000 a year'
8:00am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
Keighley’s main post office is losing more than £200,000 a year, it has been revealed.
A Post Office boss told a heated public meeting that it was costing slightly more than £2 to generate every pound of income at the Towngate site.
Steve Bruckshaw, a senior stakeholder manager with the company, was defending its controversial decision to seek a retail partner for the branch.
It also emerged during the meeting that Asda and department store group Beales could be among those seeking to link-up with the Post Office.
Mr Bruckshaw said: “It’s a very difficult market place and the Post Office needs to change – we have promised the government that by 2015 we will break even with our Crown branches and we have identified 70 that are not making money.
“The Keighley branch may seem busy but the queues are not there all the time and we have to explore other opportunities.
“At the moment we are considering the possibility of relocating the Keighley office but there is no done deal and it will not be taken off the high street.
“We are not closing post offices and we’re not dumbing down the service.
“Any new location would have to meet very high standards and there would be full consultation so the public can tell us about its concerns. This could be the first of many public meetings.”
But Carl Maden, a national executive member of the Communication Workers Union, said Keighley people would get a much inferior post office service and he described the consultation as a sham.
He told the 20-plus-strong audience, at Keighley Disabled People’s Centre, that the union had been given no criteria for how branches had been selected and two of those chosen were among the top performers.
“The decision about the franchising of Keighley Post Office has been made – no one will have a say during consultation on that,” he said. “It will be on issues like access to the new premises and whether there’s a bus stop outside.
“The simple fact is that when the post office is a counter stuck at the back of a shop people will not get the same level of service as they do now, and it is an insult to our dedicated and hard working staff to suggest otherwise.
“You are going to be queuing amongst people using the shop or store and no one will want to discuss their personal business in those circumstances.”
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