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Fight started to save Keighley’s main post office
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 an alternative retail outlet.
“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,” said David Bowmaker, territorial representative for the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
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 told us.
“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’.
“We want these local jobs and services to be protected and that’s why we have called the public meeting.
“Post Office management haven’t announced a company to take this office yet so we’re asking them to change their mind and save Keighley Crown office.”
He is urging as many people as possible to attend the 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.
“The Post Office have advertised that they are offering between £134k and £147k to any prospective franchise partner,” said Mr Bowmaker.
“That wouldn’t even pay for half the existing staffing levels.”
Post Office Ltd this week defended its decision to seek a retail partner, and pledged that the public would be fully consulted.
A spokesman added: “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. If no suitable partners are found then the Crown branch will remain."
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