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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 September 2008

No to post office closures

PLANS TO close nine sub-post offices, vital local services, across the Huddersfield/ Colne Valley area are a hammer blow to these communities. 50 people came to a public meeting last month, called by Save Our NHS councillor Jackie Grunsell, to launch a campaign to keep them open.

Huddersfield Socialist Party members

One woman said her illness makes it difficult for her to get even down the road to her post office. Fortunately the local postmistress 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 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 or get them to take out credit cards etc."

The government talks about wanting to build strong local communities, 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 told the press they would fight the closures, yet voted for them earlier in parliament. Everyone sees the consultation process as a sham.

However this summer, 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 campaign intends to keep up the pressure on the council cabinet to make this hope a reality.

The campaign has since moved up a gear. Regular door knocking with petitions has been met with huge support for the campaign and disbelief at the closure plans.

A recent public meeting in Holmfirth was addressed by local MP Kali Mountford. She was only interested in fighting for two of the five threatened post offices in her constituency as she wanted to see a post office network that 'worked better'.

Tell that to the people of Thornton Lodge where the post office she is so happy to abandon, provides vital translation services to non-English speaking members of the local Pakistani and Kashmiri communities. But Kali was nowhere to be seen in that part of her constituency!

A protest is planned for Tuesday 23 September, 10am, outside Lockwood Post Office, Lockwood Road, Huddersfield.

We want to show Post Office Ltd how much local people value their post offices, and our MPs that we are prepared to fight to save them even if they aren't.

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In The Socialist 17 September 2008:

Credit crunch

It's time to fight back!

Socialist Party editorial

Capitalist crisis - Karl Marx was right


No to racism: Yes to decent jobs, homes & services!

Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist candidate gains 40% of vote, stuns Usdaw leaders

Conflict in Georgia - independent position needed

Brown's feeble fuel package

Labour Party conference protest

Protest at war and occupation

Welcome to the real Manchester

Fighting city needs a fighting party

Panicky MPs turn on Labour

Privatisation and closure

No to post office closures

Protesters tackle Metro privatisation

Socialist Party feature

Middle East: End imperialist aggression!

Socialist Party workplace news

London bus strike: "Showing them our power"

Pickets cheer in West London

Ford workers meet to defend jobs

Journalists win union recognition victory

2008 Trades Union Congress: Pressure from below begins to show

Swansea rail workers fighting for a living wage


International socialist news and analysis

Interview with Cindy Sheehan: "Some kind of populist uprising needs to happen"

Scotland: Tactical questions for local government pay battle

Socialist Party review

'Bob Marley' reviewed by Jason Toynbee


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