A COUNCILLOR has warned of a “sham” campaign to keep Huddersfield post offices open.
Last week the Post Office announced plans to close Birkby PO on Wheathouse Road; the Leeds Road office at Bradley Mills; Lockwood PO on Lockwood Road; and the Longroyd Bridge office on St Thomas’s Road.
Huddersfield’s Labour MP, Barry Sheerman, said the proposed closures were the result of a lack of demand, but vowed to back any sub-postmasters who wanted to fight the plans.
However, Clr Andrew Cooper (pictured), who represents Newsome on Kirklees Council, criticised the MP.
The Green councillor said: “Barry Sheerman and the Labour Party do not need to campaign or collect petition signatures to save post offices in Huddersfield.
“They need to do it in Westminster.
“They are the governing party and are supposed to have more influence than the rest of us. A campaign by Labour to save post offices should be viewed as a sham.”
Clr Cooper added that this month’s closure programme was just the latest round of cuts.
He added: “In the Newsome ward over the last few years Labour’s privatisation of the Post Office has seen the closure of the branches in Berry Brow, Lowerhouses, Taylor Hill and Primrose Hill.
“One of the rather meagre justifications they made for closing Taylor Hill and Berry Brow was because of the proximity of Lockwood Post Office, which is now also to close.”
But Mr Sheerman defended his stance. He said: “There’s nothing cynical about it. We’ve all got to be mature about this.
“Post offices need to have the support of the local community and the person who runs it has to want to carry on.”
But the MP noted that some branches were under-used.
Mr Sheerman said: “There has been a move away from traditional ways of communicating, which puts a question mark over smaller post offices. Some of them are used by a tiny number of people but the taxpayer has to pay a considerable sum to keep them open.”