MPS are locked in a battle to halt the closure of Oldham's town centre Post Office.

Post Office Limited announced the Lord Street branch is earmarked for relocation to WHSmith in Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre as part of their plans to move a further 40 outlets across the country into the high street store's premises in 2019.

A six-week public consultation is due to get underway into the proposed closure of Oldham Post Office which would see staff transferred to the employment of WHSmith under a new franchise arrangement which will be eventually rolled out across a planned 200 stores.

A Post Office spokesman told The Oldham Times details about how customers can provide their views will be provided when detailed plans for the branch are released.

In a press release announcing the agreement to expand the number of branches in WHSmith outlets they said it will help secure high street Post Offices and mean longer opening hours "in many areas".

But the announcement has caused a huge outcry among the borough's MPs - and the public alike - who have vowed to 'battle it out' to retain the Oldham branch at its Lord Street location.

Oldham West and Royton representative Jim McMahon, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams and Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner say this will not only be the loss of one of the town's high street institutions but will lead to a reduced service and the transferring of jobs from a public employer, Post Office Limited - which is owned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - to a private one.

They say the Communication Workers Union are concerned this will impact on the wages and conditions of the workers concerned.

Mr McMahon said the Post Office provides a vital service for people from across the town, and the closure is absolutely not in the public interest.

“It’s a nonsense as anyone who uses the post office will tell you. It’s a busy branch and well used. There is no public interest in closing it, even if it will be relocated," he said.

“I’ve challenged the ‘top brass’ to meet me at Oldham Post Office to discuss how stupid this idea really is.

“Stand by. This will be a battle but we must fight it to save Oldham Post Office.”

The MPs have launched a petition at for people to lobby Post Office Ltd and the government to halt the planned closure which can be found at

Mrs Abrahams said: “I have walked by this branch since 2011, as it’s just outside my office, and it is always busy. The Post Office need to rethink their proposal immediately.

“We want as may people as possible to sign our petition to stop the closure of our Post Office.”

WHSmith currently runs 135 Post Offices within their high street stores throughout the country.

Post Office network and sales director, Roger Gale, said: “WHSmith and Post Office have worked together successfully for more than a decade and our collaboration helps to secure our services on high streets for years to come.

“We’re continuing to respond to unprecedented change on high streets and in consumer trends. By adapting to the needs of customers we’re making sure Post Offices will matter as much tomorrow as they do today, with services available when and where people want them, in convenient locations and open for longer hours, including Sundays.

“We’ve made significant changes in our network of 11,500 Post Offices over the past few years, modernising more than 7,500 branches and increasing opening hours for customers by more than 200,000 a week. We’ve also developed our services, including the introduction of everyday banking for customers of the UK’s high street banks.

“The vast majority of the Post Office’s network of 11,500 Post Office branches, large and small, are run on a franchise or agency basis with retailers as part of thriving businesses. It makes sense to further expand this successful, sustainable way of providing Post Office services to customers.”