Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/6346
Sub-post office closures in Huddersfield protest meeting
The announcement of plans to close nine sub-post offices across Huddersfield and the Colne Valley area has come as a hammer blow to these communities.
These are vital local services, a point illustrated by the 50 people who came to a public meeting called by Save Our NHS councillor and Socialist party member, Jackie Grunsell, to launch a campaign to keep them open. One woman told how her illness makes it difficult for her to get even down the road to her post office.
Fortunately the local postmistress there drops off and picks up forms for her if necessary.
Imran, another local postmaster explained he has Punjabi, Urdu and Polish speakers on the counter, who as part of the community they serve, can interpret and help non-English speakers fill in forms etc.
"Staff at the town centre offices just don't have that kind of time for people" he said, "They are constantly pressured to try and sell customers insurance for this, that and the other, or get them to take out credit cards etc".
The government talk about wanting to build strong local communities, get us to cut our carbon footprint and use local services, but this policy is destroying our communities.
The meeting discussed plans to lobby local MPs (Kali Mountford and Barry Sheerman) who hypocritically came out in the press saying they would fight the closures, yet voted for them a few months earlier in parliament.
It is clear to everyone that the consultation process is a sham. Only recently, in the north Kirklees part of the borough, one post office was saved only to be replaced by a closure announcement in a neighbouring area.
However three weeks ago, Kirklees council passed a motion proposed by Jackie, arguing that the council should make its own assessment of local post offices with a view to reopening them as council run services.
The Cabinet of the council are required to negotiate around this option with Post Office Ltd.
It is now in their hands and the campaign intends to keep up the pressure on Cabinet to make this hope a reality.
A further public meeting has been called on 1st September, 7pm at Huddersfield Methodist Mission, Lord Street, Hudds, from which we will organise a delegation to go to the cabinet meeting on 3rd Sept. For more info ring the Socialist Party on 020 8988 8777