Villagers facing ‘grievous blow’ call for only surviving post office to be saved

Councillor Glen Miller outside Haworth Post Office

Councillor Glen Miller outside Haworth Post Office

First published in News by

A community’s only post office is threatened with closure.

Villagers are calling for urgent action to save the branch in Main Street, Haworth – at the heart of a tourism mecca.

In August 2011 Haworth lost its branch at the Brow and now the village’s last post office is set to shut due to the pending departure of the sub-postmaster.

Locals rely on the post office but the premises, near the Visitor Information Centre, are also well used by many of the millions of tourists who flock to Bronte Country.

Coun John Huxley, chairman of Haworth, Cross Roads and Stanbury Parish Council, said: “Being left without a post office would be a grievous blow to the village.

“Of course the sub-postmaster has the right to retire – that’s not the issue – but time isn’t on our side. I’m expecting to have a meeting with a representative from the Post Office later this month to discuss the options.

“We want to retain these services in Haworth so people don’t have to go to Oxenhope or Cross Roads, which would not be good for pensioners or people lacking transport.”

Worth Valley district councillor Glen Miller – leader of the Tory group on Bradford Council – said a suggestion had been put forward that postal services could be provided at the Visitor Information Centre but Post Office bosses did not seem interested.

“It appears to us that minor technicalities are being allowed to stand in the way of the residents of Haworth having convenient access to the services provided by the Post Office.” He added: “My colleagues and I are informed that the opening hours of the visitor centre are not entirely compatible with those of standard Post Office criteria.

“So rather than making minor compromises, the Post Office may consider it more appropriate that the residents of Haworth have no locally provided service at all, rather than one at opening hours slightly out of line with their normal specification. This seems a perverse outcome of a bureaucratic decision to me.”

Post Office Ltd said it was aware that the sub-postmaster had expressed an interest in leaving and had put the business on the market.

And it told the Keighley News it was committed to maintaining a service in Haworth and would work hard to ensure it.

“If this involves a relocation of the post office it would be subject to a full public consultation,” said a spokesman.

“We are working hard to maintain services and will be meeting the local council soon to discuss a solution."

When contacted by the Keighley News this week, no one was available for comment at Haworth Post Office.

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