CAMPAIGNERS today launched the fight to keep open 10 Huddersfield post offices.
News that more Huddersfield branches face the axe has been met with fury.
Customers, councillors and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman have vowed to fight the closures ``tooth and nail".
They are by far the biggest-ever proposed cutbacks for Post Offices services in the town.
The Post Office, which has systematically been closing branches around Huddersfield for years in an effort to save others, says the closures are vital to stem huge financial losses.
Six closures have already been confirmed this year.
If the latest round goes through, there will be just 15 branches in the town.
But Mr Sheerman fumed: "It's an absolute disgrace. I am absolutely flabbergasted. What a nonsense."
Yesterday, he held urgent talks with Stephen Timms, minister of state for energy, e-commerce and postal services.
He is also fixing up a crisis meeting with Post Office chairman Alan Leighton.
The 10 branches earmarked for closure are: Elland Lane, Elland; Church Street, Rastrick; Leymoor Road and James Street in Golcar; Bradley Mills Road, Rawthorpe; Primrose Hill Road, Primrose Hill; Wakefield Road, Greenside; St Mary's Lane, Kirkheaton; Leeds Road, opposite the McAlpine Stadium; and Bradford Road, Hillhouse.
Already closed or earmarked for closure are Taylor Hill, Crosland Moor, Lowerhouses, Longwood, Netheroyd Hill at Cowcliffe and Cowlersley.
"We have seen a gradual nibbling away of post offices over the years," said Mr Sheerman. "This is a hammer blow. A lot of people are going to be cut off, including the elderly and young women with children.
"What on earth is the Post Office supposed to be about? I'll fight this tooth and nail."
Golcar councillor Robert Iredale said post office closures had already cut a swathe across his ward.
He spoke to Post Office bosses yesterday on hearing the news that two village branches were in their plans.
But he said he feared the worst, adding: "It's going to tear the heart out of Golcar."
He believed other businesses would inevitably suffer.
Noreen Logan, chairman of the Huddersfield and District Pensioners' Organisation, said the elderly would be hardest hit.
"It's quite horrendous. The only criterion seems to be that if a post office is not commercially viable they close it down. There's no sign of them thinking about the service. It's still a public service. It's still a Government business."
Ms Logan also fears the closures will not stop with those listed yesterday.
"It's 10 now. Will there be another 10 next year? Soon there will be no post offices left, apart from ones in the town centre."
News of the closure threat came only hours before the Royal Mail announced a £3m profit in the first half of the financial year - the first time it has been in the black at this stage for five years.
But despite the good news, Mr Leighton said there was a "long way" to go before the organisation achieved sustainable profitability.
The company, which is still clearing a backlog of mail following a series of wildcat strikes by postal workers, said its day-to-day operations made a £55m profit, as against a £147m loss a year ago.
The figures covered the six months to September, before the unofficial strikes, which are believed to have cost Royal Mail millions of pounds.
To comment on the closures you can ring Post Office regulator Postwatch on 08456 013265
or write to Post Office Closures, FREEPOST, Postwatch.
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