Villagers fight to protect post office services

Paul Dainton and Peter Box are objecting to cuts to services at Altofts Post office.
Paul Dainton and Peter Box are objecting to cuts to services at Altofts Post office.
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Campaigners are fighting to stop proposed changes to Altofts Post Office which they say could leave the village with a reduced service.

Villagers would have to travel to Normanton for some postage and payment services under cost-cutting proposals by Post Office bosses.

The Altofts post office, on Church Street, would no longer process some international parcels, savings bonds and on-demand travel insurance under the plans.

Action group Residents Against Toxic Scheme (RATS) and Altofts councillor Peter Box, who is leader of Wakefield Council, have objected to the proposals, which are subject to a public consultation which closes on May 28.

RATS president Paul Dainton said: “We just can’t afford to lose the services that are currently provided at the post office.”

The plans have been revealed five years after Upper Altofts Post Office closed down despite a campaign in the village to keep it open.

Mr Dainton added: “The post office really should be expanded. The more they cut services, the more they are going to say it’s not viable as a post office.”

In a written objection to the proposals, Coun Box said Altofts was an isolated community with very few facilities.

He said: “In the area which this post office is situated there are a large number of elderly residents who rely on the many services that the post office offers.

“A reduction in these services would no doubt cause disruption to a number of residents who would struggle to get to the post office in Normanton.”

A Post Office spokeswoman said, “The Post Office is introducing new models of post office branches which will help improve their profitability and also benefit our customers through longer opening hours and modern retail environments.

“There is currently a period of customer engagement in place to allow customers to have their say on the changes taking place at the Altofts Post Office branch, with responses up to and including May 28.”