ANGRY residents say they will “fight” to keep a town centre post office open.
Campaigners packed Holywell Leisure Centre last night to voice their opinions on plans to axe the office under a franchise arrangement.
Fear was expressed by community leaders, business owners and customers, that if the service is located out of the town centre there could be a further decline in trade.
The post office was described as the “heart of the community”.
A panel including David Hanson MP, Sandy Mewies AM, Andy Furey, a national official of the Communication Workers Union, Post Office representatives Non Williams and John Jones, along with the Mayor of Holywell, Ted Palmer and Cllr Peter Curtis, were all present to have their say.
Mr Hanson said he wanted to know why Holywell, along with 69 other offices, had been selected for this process. “I know many people come in to Holywell town centre because there is a Crown Post Office.”
He believes the facility attracts people into the high street – which also benefits other businesses in the town.
Ms Williams said the town’s post office met the criteria for the changes. She added they were committed to keeping Post Office services in Holywell.
Mr Furey urged the community to fight together to keep the Crown Post Office in the town.
He said: “In the post office there are eight staff who between them have 100 years experience.
“You will lose them expertise and their dedication.”
He warned the town would become a ghost town following the closure and accused the Post Office of targeting the most deprived areas in the country for the closures.
Ms Williams strenuously denied the comment made about targeting poor areas.
Cllr Curtis said: “This is not just a building. It is part of the fabric of Holywell.
“I don’t want to see our post office services in Tesco or in Lidl.
“It is part of Holywell. It is about the community, and if you rip the heart out of community it will not survive.”
Thousands of residents, as well as town businesses, have signed a petition against the plans to close and franchise the post office.
Staff have taken nine rounds of strike action in opposition to the closure plans since Easter and residents say the franchise is just another way of privatising the Royal Mail.