Victory for people power as post office branch re-opens

Residents from the Hawksworth Estate, Leeds, are celebrating after MP Rachel Reeves, helped to reopen the estate post office.
Residents from the Hawksworth Estate, Leeds, are celebrating after MP Rachel Reeves, helped to reopen the estate post office.
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A POPULAR post office branch which closed suddenly is to re-open after a two-year fight by locals.

The Hawksworth Wood branch in Kirkstall closed in August 2010, with bosses saying at the time it would be a “temporary” measure.

A part-time post-office van was brought in to provide services after lengthy conversations between Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves – who lives in the area – and Post Office bosses.

But today it was announced that the outlet would re-open next month – two years after it closed.

It will open six days a week, Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and until 12.30pm on Saturdays.

Miss Reeves, who spearheaded a campaign to reopen the branch full-time, said: “It’s great to know that the post office will finally re-open on its original site after two years.

“It has been a hard fight to make sure that the full range of Post Office services will be available again on Hawksworth Wood, and I’m looking forward to buying some stamps there!

“The Post Office van has been useful, but I said when we secured that service that we wouldn’t stop until we had secured a permanent service.”

The lengthy campaign to get the branch open again included letters, petitions, public meetings and demonstrations.

The nearest Post Office options for users of the Hawksworth Wood branch were are up a steep hill in Moor Grange, or a bus-ride away in Horsforth.

Stephen Rennie, chair of the Hawksworth Wood Community Association, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that we are getting the post office back.

“The van has been terrific, and Alan, who runs it, has always gone the extra mile.

“But it’s a van, and nowhere near as good as having the branch back. This is a real boost for the whole community and we are just so chuffed.”

He thanked Miss Reeves for her “amazing work” in helping to get the branch re-opened, adding: “She has been tireless, and has never given up.”

Association volunteer and regular post office user Sue Hopkins said: “It’s excellent news.

“We are delighted that it’s opening again.

“We have a lot of older people living on the estate and it’s a long way up for them to Butcher Hill, or to travel to Horsforth by bus.

“We were without anything for ages, then we got the van, but this is a bonus.”

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