OLDHAM'S three Labour MPs and council leader are taking part in a national day of action by the Communication Workers Union in the fight against post office closures tomorrow (Saturday, December 1).

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon, Oldham East and Saddleworth representative Debbie Abrahams and Ashton and Failsworth MP Angela Rayner will be outside The Spindles Shopping Centre in the town centre from 11.30am with council leader Sean Fielding. Mr McMahon said: “The post office is the heart of Oldham and the high street and we will fight to keep it open and ensure those services are there for many years to come. We urge as many members of the public as possible to join us on the day.”

Ms Abrahams said: “Our post office provides a vital community service and it shouldn’t be downgraded and hived off to a struggling private sector retailer. Given the current fragility of large high street retailers, using Oldham’s Crown Post Office to prop up a struggling business is wholly inappropriate.

“Oldhamers haven’t been consulted about this move by either Post Office Ltd or the government, despite Consumer Focus and Citizen’s Advice reporting longer queues, inferior service and poor disabled access when Crown Offices are transferred to WHSmith.

Cllr Fielding said: “The council is fully behind the campaign to save Oldham’s post office. As the office makes a profit and is the best performing crown office in Greater Manchester, I am at a loss to understand why The Post Office wants to close it. I will be meeting up with senior Post Office managers to put forward a strong case for it to remain open. I can tell you they have one hell of fight on their hands if they want to close it.”

Commenting on the plans CWU Regional Secretary, Carl Webb said: “The CWU will not sit idly by whilst well rewarded and unionised jobs are transferred into the minimum wage paying, bargain basement employer that is WHSmith. Having been voted consistently as the worst retailer on the high street we believe WHSmith is not fit to house our vital postal services.”.

"This is a fight not only to protect local post offices now but to grow them in the future. We are calling for the introduction of a Post Bank so as major banks remove themselves from the high street we can offer people an ethical and community based banking option."