York Labour members with Rachael Maskell and Janet Looker, during the fight to save York
York Labour members with Rachael Maskell and Janet Looker, during the fight to save York's Crown Post Office

News this week that York’s Crown Post Office will definitely close, despite campaigners securing over 3,000 signatures on a petition to keep it open, has spurred York Labour Party to attempt to ensure that the building, at least, will remain a community asset.

Guildhall Councillor Janet Looker, leader of the Labour Group in council, said:

“The loss of post office services from this site is hugely disappointing, but unfortunately that decision is out of our hands. Now Post Office Counters Ltd has made the decision, we are determined to seek the protection of the building for some sort of community benefit.

“Guildhall Labour members are submitting an application to secure the building in the short term as an asset of community value. This will give time to consider how the building might be used in future, and whether or not there is an interest in using it for a particular purpose.

“This could include its possible purchase by the council, with a view to not only delivering that community benefit, but a return for taxpayers as investments are doing elsewhere in the city centre.”

The decision was confirmed earlier this week that the post office would be moving out of its traditional home, and into WH Smiths in Coney Street. York Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who spearheaded the campaign to save the post office said this:

“This is not about York or services, but yet another example of a public body selling off part of our incredible city for a quick financial fix which the people of York will not see a direct benefit from.

“During the campaign I was very interested to hear of Harold Wood’s work as part of the Home Guard team that protected Lendal Post Office in 1942 during the York Blitz. As Harold said, the Luftwaffe could not destroy the Post Office. It is extremely sad to see our publicly owned Post Office doing just that.”

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