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New venue suggested for Keighley Post Office
Keighley’s threatened central post office could be relocated to the town’s civic centre.
The Keighley News can exclusively reveal the idea has been put to Post Office bosses following news the popular Towngate branch faces closure.
Campaigners last week launched a fight to ‘save’ the post office (pictured), which is just yards from Keighley bus station.
They fear plans to link with a retail partner will see the facility reduced to a counter at the back of a shop.
But now it has emerged Keighley Town Council, which runs the civic centre in North Street, has suggested its premises as a potential new venue.
“Councillor Tony Wright has made tentative approaches to the Post Office and asked if it might look at alternatives, such as the civic centre, for viability,” said a town council spokesman.
“He also sought the views of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which was interested in exploring the idea.
“Although nothing has been decided by the town council, the idea of a permanent tenant, such as the Post Office, would be beneficial for the long-term sustainability of both the civic centre and the town centre post office.”
The civic centre has been dogged by controversy, and the council acknowledged in May the project was £162,000 in the red.
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins this week pledged he would oppose any Post Office plans he felt were not in the best interests of local customers. But he said it was right the company should explore its options.
“The Post Office is haemorrhaging public money every day – despite the government investing £1.34 billion nationally to revitalise the network and make it sustainable in the longer term,” he added.
“I recently met with management, who confirmed a retail partner was being sought, but that no final decisions would be made until the public’s views were established through a consultation. It was also made clear to me that, should a suitable partner not be found, then the Crown branch would remain.”
The CWU said the loss of the main post office would be a massive blow to townspeople and to the local economy. It is urging people to attend a public meeting being held next week.
Speakers at Monday’s meeting – at the Disabled People’s Centre in Temple Row at 1pm – will include Carl Maden, national executive member of the CWU.
Post Office representatives have been invited to attend to explain the plans and receive feedback.
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