Letter: We were quick to act over post office

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I REFER to the letter from D S Boyes (YEP, May 9).

I am surprised and disappointed by the attempts in this letter to use what was genuine and efficient action to help residents deal with a local crisis and restore their Bramley Post Office service to make an empty political point criticising the last Labour government.

The simple facts are:

The Post Office, situated in the Bramley Shopping Centre, closed without prior notice on Tuesday, April 24. This was due to the retail unit being repossessed following the tenants being in rent arrears.

Within an hour of this happening, Councillor Ted Hanley and I were in the shopping centre, having arranged a complimentary bus service, with help from Bramley Elderly Action, to shuttle people to and from the nearest Post Office, to help and inform any shoppers needing to use the service.

This bus service continued all week, serviced by helpful, kind polite bus drivers who couldn’t do enough to help.

On the same day, Rachel Reeves, our local MP, outraged by the lack of information given either to the council or her office, immediately initiated meetings with the Post Office and with the owners of Bramley Shopping Centre in the Houses of Parliament.

These meetings continued over the next day and Rachel herself, made it very clear that this act placed many Bramley residents, particularly elderly people, at an unacceptable level of disadvantage and risk.

Councillor Hanley, Rachel Reeves and I made a number of visits to the Post Office site separately and together over the week to ensure that passing shoppers were kept properly informed and to answer their questions.

By the following Tuesday, May 1, a temporary post master had been put in place, the building had been cleaned and re-equipped and the Post Office was once again open for business.

This arrangement will continue until permanent tenants who want to run it as a Post Office can be found.

I think this shows decisive, sharply focused action to assist Bramley residents in accessing an essential local service.

I am sorry, D S Boyes, that you found it so unremarkable.

Councillor Caroline Gruen, Labour, Bramley, Rodley and Stanningley ward

Leeds City Train Station. Picture Tony Johnson

YEP Letters: October 13