Calls to halt ‘abysmal’ closure plan

royal Mail’s decision to axe Heckmondwike’s delivery office has been branded “abysmal” by one of the town’s councillors.

Steve Hall said he and fellow ward councillors would fight alongside the Communication Workers’ Union to keep the office in town.

Last week Royal Mail confirmed the office in Oldfield Lane would close by August 31, with staff relocating to Grange Valley Road in Batley.

The move means people will face a journey of more than three miles to collect parcels

Coun Hall said: “We are going to do everything we can to make sure the delivery office stays in Heckmondwike.

“Moving to Grange Valley Road will hit the elderly and those without cars particularly hard because it’s not easy to get to.

“We’ll be trying to get the support of Spen Valley Area Committee and MP Mike Wood to keep it, and encourage people to write to Royal Mail to object because it’s an abysmal idea.”

Andy Lee from the Communication Workers’ Union said staff at the Heckmondwike office were unhappy at the closure.

“Most have worked there for nearly a decade and live locally. Ultimately they will have to pay more and travel longer to get to work.

“While Royal Mail says nobody will lose their job, some are worried they may not have a place at Batley and are unsure where in the Wakefield area they may end up working.

”We will be campaigning with petitions and leaflets and are happy to talk with businesses, residents or community groups - anyone wishing to invite us to speak can get in touch with me on 0113 2341312 / 07958 760045 or email andylee@cwuleeds.freeserve.co.uk.”

Liversedge resident John Appleyard also criticised the closure and said Heckmondwike was losing another important service.

“There is still no progress on the library and bus terminus and the former Kirklees offices in Market Street and Oldfield Lane are still empty,” he said.

“There has to be concern about what is happening in Heckmondwike.”

Royal mail delivery sector manager Tony Power said relocating to Batley would place the business on a ‘sound, secure and stable footing’ and assured customers they would do all they could to minimise disruption.