Post Office to close and franchise more Crown branches

THE Post Office is planning to close and franchise 37 Crown offices, including four in Yorkshire.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) says the move will result in the loss of 300 jobs and 127 specialist roles altogether.

Closures in Yorkshire affect Ropergate in Pontefract, Church Lane, Pudsey, Huddersfield’s New Street and Bridgegate in Rotherham.

The Post Office said the changes would help to keep branches where customers wanted and needed them to be.

But the union said the move was “evidence that the Post Office is in crisis”.

It added that the number of post office jobs lost since the beginning of last year was 2,000.

The CWU held a five-day strike before Christmas at Crown post offices in a dispute partly about branch closures. The union is also concerned about job losses and pension provision.

Crown post offices are the larger branches usually found on High Streets.

In a statement, the Post Office said: “With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.”

It said it would take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals would be subject to local consultation. It promised to keep staff “fully informed”.