A BRADFORD MP has joined the fight to keep vital Post Office services in a local town.

Philip Davies MP for Shipley has backed a petition which is demanding the Post Office maintains a viable service in Baildon centre.

It was set-up by the Baildon Labour Party in response to the news that the Martin’s store, on Northgate, which houses Post Office facilities, will shut in just over three months’ time.

A spokesperson for McColl’s said the shop’s last day of trading will be Friday, October 23, after the company “explored all options”.

The move has caused widespread concern and could leave the centre of Baildon without access to financial services, if an alternative cannot be found.

The petition has been signed by 950 people so far and Mr Davies has supported this by writing a letter to the Post Office’s Chief Executive.

The Shipley MP sees it as “unacceptable” that Baildon may see the disappearance of its only Post Office facilities.

He said: “Post Offices are a vital part of the community and everything possible should be done to support them and keep them open.

“The branch has not been here long and everyone I speak to wants to see services maintained, which is supported by hundreds of signatures on a petition demanding a viable presence in the town.

“I will do everything I can, along with the Baildon councillors on Bradford Council, to ensure we secure the future of services in the town."

There has been mooted interest from some in the town about housing the facilities in their buildings and businesses.

The Post Office confirmed this in its response to Mr Davies.

The letter said: “We realise that Post Office services are very important to local communities and I can assure that we are committed to maintaining services for our customers.

"My colleagues in our Network Change team has approached local businesses and we are advertising the opportunity on our website and I’m pleased to say that we do have some interest which we are currently exploring.

“I hope you are reassured of our commitment to maintain Post Office services in Baildon and we will of course let you and our customers know when we have a confirmed proposal in place.”

Mr Davies said: "I was pleased with the response I received from the Post Office but I will continue setting out the case for services to remain until we have a definitive plan in place.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon) asked someone from the Post Office to visit Baildon to speak to some of the people who had declared interest in helping out.

The councillor also wanted the decision-makers to see why it was so important to have a presence in the centre, rather than settling for facilities at the bottom of the town.

She said: “I invited a representative from the Post Office to visit Baildon and I’m pleased he met with me and Councillor Val Townend last week.

"It was really useful for him to see for himself the topography of the area and he assured us that the Post Office is fully committed to exploring all possibilities to ensure a presence remains in the centre of Baildon.”