Calls for action over Calverley Post Office

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Calverley Village Store. Photo: Google

By John Baron

‘More needs to be done’ to replace services following the loss of the lifeline Calverley Post Office, politicians in West Leeds have claimed.

Following the closure of the branch earlier this year, Leeds West MP and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, alongside Calverley & Farsley councillors Peter Carlill and Craig Timmins, wrote to the Post Office for reassurance that work was ongoing to ensure the village will not be left without a Post Office.

After reading the response they became concerned that not enough was being done to return these vital services.

Cllr Craig Timmins said: “The loss of post office services in the village is a great blow to the community – but in the current climate we understand why the new owners of Calverley Village Store wouldn’t be keen to take it on. We therefore wrote to the Post Office to ask what they were doing to ensure these services weren’t lost.

“The response we received says they have not received any applications to the consultation so far, and they will ‘continue to monitor the situation’. In our view this simply isn’t good enough.”

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Leeds West and Pudsey, current Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, added: “Former owners Waheeda and Asaf Hussain built up the post office to a vital hub in the community, going above and beyond to provide a service for the village – their efforts deserve more.

“Through this time they were victims of the Horizon scandal, having to borrow money to make up for seemingly false shortfalls in the accounting system.

“Sub-postmasters have been vindicated in their courageous search for justice. We will be carefully studying the legislation to make sure it delivers for sub-postmasters like Mr and Mrs Hussain, and ensuring that compensation is issued swiftly.”

Cllr Peter Carlill said: “Coupled with the loss of the NatWest branch in Greengates, Calverley’s Post Office closure means many residents will now find that going about their day-to-day business is made that much harder.

“We have put in a request to Link through their ‘access to cash scheme’ for a free ATM for the village in the meantime, and will be pushing the Post Office to come back with a more pro-active response.”

The general store at the site has stayed open in Calverley, with the Post Office facilities closing.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “Calverley Post Office closed in March due to the resignation of the Postmaster who had served this community well for many years, and we thank her for the service that she provided to this community. 

“We know how important a Post Office is to a community and we are keen to restore service as soon as possible. The vacancy is advertised on www.runapostoffice.co.uk. Our field team has also visited the area and spoken to current retailers about how taking on the Post Office can increase footfall into their existing business. Alternatively, it could be an opportunity for a new retailer to operate a Post Office alongside a retail business. There is an interested retailer and talks are at an early stage.

“In the interim alternative branches include Idle, Harrogate Road and Farsley. Visit www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder for details of locations, opening hours and services provided.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. What about locating a post office counter in the library building. There is a post office counter at the Headingley hub and library so maybe this model could be copied at the Calverley library hub?

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