THE fight is on to save a post office that was put on a hit list after another branch won a reprieve.
Thornhill Edge Post Office, at Edge Lane, last week replaced Savile Town on a list of branches facing the axe.
The Savile Town office, at Warren Street, was removed from the list after a successful campaign led by Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik.
Thornhill Edge has been open for more than 50 years.
Sub-postmistress Una Robinson, who has been running it for 12 years, said she was shocked and angered by the decision.
She said: “As far as we were concerned, we weren’t on the closure list.
“It’s a well-used post office and we aren’t that close to Savile Town.
“It will have a huge impact. All the old people’s bungalows are round here. It leaves them vulnerable.
“What we can’t understand is that this post office was deemed viable to stay open six weeks ago. Why has that now changed?”
A petition has been started and a public meeting organised to drum up support for the campaign to save the post office.
Una said she admired the Savile Town community for their victory.
She added: “We just have to fight equally hard.
“I’m not even considering that we won’t get the decision reversed. We are going to fight as hard as we can and get the decision we want.”
Dewsbury South councillor Khizar Iqbal has written to the chief executive of the Post Office demanding an explanation for the decision to close Thornhill Edge.
He said: “It is quite divisive, vindictive and reprehensible for the Post Office organisation to cynically and heartlessly punish the community of Thornhill Edge by planning to close their local post office.
“Coming on top of the confirmed closure of Whitley Post Office this is another body blow for local people living in small communities.
“Edge Lane had never been mentioned for closure when the Post Office put out its original list of proposed closures.
“They obviously did not intend to close the post office then. So, what we want to know is what has changed?”
Mr Malik is also backing the campaign.
He said: “While it is clear that we’re mounting this campaign somewhat against all odds, I am resolutely determined to fight the closure along with Una and we intend to leave no stone unturned.”
A Post Office Ltd spokesman said: “We are required by the Government to close up to 2,500 post offices as part of the Network Change programme.
“If we withdraw a proposed closure from an Area Plan, we reserve the right to replace it with another, based on the factors we consider, including proximity to nearby branches, the number of customers currently using a
particular branch, the size and ability of nearby branches to absorb extra
customers and the commercial implications of any decision for Post Office Ltd.
“If a particular branch is not proposed for closure as part of an initial Area Plan, this does not reflect on the viability or otherwise of this branch compared to any other post office.
“As Thornhill Edge Post Office is now proposed for closure following the withdrawal of two branches from the West Yorkshire Area Plan, Post Office Ltd will commence in due course a further six-week consultation period on our proposal to close this branch.”
The public meeting is at 8pm on Wednesday July 30 at Thornhill Edge Working Men’s Club.