COUNCILLORS last night voted to look into stepping in to rescue some post offices threatened with closure.
Kirklees Council will investigate following the example of Essex County Council, which plans to spend £1.5m to save 15 branches from the axe.
Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens voted in favour of the idea, with the ruling Conservatives abstaining.
The move came after campaigners handed in a 3,000-name petition against post office closures.
Annette Jallow of Save Our Services told councillors: “If Essex can do it, why can’t you? We hope Kirklees can step into the breach. There’s overwhelming support from the public for this idea.”
Independent councillor Jackie Grunsell moved the motion in favour of investigating the Essex model.
She said: “Just because the Government abdicates its responsibility, why should we?
“What they have done in Essex is come up with their own criteria based on the needs of their community and we can do the same.”
Lib Dem Clr Nicola Turner agreed.
The Colne Valley councillor said: “We must be proactive in finding ways to support our post offices. Perhaps we could even develop our own model in Kirklees.”
Green leader Clr Andrew Cooper called on the council to take action to save post offices.
The Newsome man said: “It’s not enough to say the closures are really bad. We’ve got to do something about it and that means putting our hands in our pockets.”
Labour’s Clr David Sheard attacked the Conservatives for opposing the Post Office’s closure plans.
The Heckmondwike man said: “Let’s get back to a system where public services serve the public. Let’s nationalise the lot.
“You Conservatives should stop whingeing about the capitalist system which you embrace.”
The ruling Conservatives abstained from supporting the Essex model.
But council leader Clr Robert Light said his party would still fight the closure plans. And he added that the real solution was for the Government to change course.
Clr Light said: “The Post Office is not interested in dialogue, it is interested in closing 2,500 branches nationally. The only thing that really matters is that the Government changes its mind.”