Empty Hawes sorting office costing ‘spiteful’ Royal Mail £7,000 a year says councillor

Hawes sorting office.

By Betsy Everett

Royal Mail are paying £7,000 a year rent for an empty sorting office in Hawes following a decision by the Post Office to refuse to let them close it.

Although the office remains technically open, sorting and delivery operations have moved to Leyburn in what Councillor John Blackie has described as a “spiteful” move.

“I am incredibly disappointed with Royal Mail who, unfortunately, in their contract can move the sorting office to Leyburn against the wishes of the community, if they can prove efficiencies and savings,” Cllr Blackie told Hawes and High Abbotside parish council of which he is chairman.
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However, Royal Mail must continue to pay the rent of the building to the Upper Dales Community Partnership, “ad infinitum,” and the employment is technically still tied to Hawes, he said.

“They claim that by moving [the operation] to Leyburn they can make these savings so for the time being that is where the mail comes from. However, Royal Mail will continue to pay Hawes post office the sum of £7,000 to maintain an empty sorting office.

“I am at a loss to understand where the efficiencies and savings are when they are also sending two vans to Leyburn in the morning to collect the mail, and sometimes two in the afternoon as well.

“It seems a mysterious way of going about your business.”

Cllr Blackie, who is also the town’s volunteer sub-postmaster, said he had negotiated for all the rents from the units on the industrial estate where the sorting office is located to be paid to the Upper Wensleydale Community Partnership of which he is a director.

“This is to support all the services we provide in Hawes so the £7,000 rent will help to pay for our local services. However, it was a spiteful move by Royal Mail who took the decision to move the sorting to Leyburn against the wishes of the community as expressed at a previous parish council meeting.”

In February Richmondshire Today reported that the Post Office had rejected Royal Mail’s application to close the Hawes sorting office. The company wanted to relocate the office from Hawes to Leyburn, but the Post Office, which had the final say, refused to approve the move. 

The decision had been welcomed by Cllr Blackie, who had urged the Post Office to keep the facility in the town.



  1. The Post Office won’t let Royal Mail close the office?!? I’m not sure what this story is about.

  2. ‘In February Richmondshire Today reported that the Post Office had rejected Royal Mail’s application to close the Hawes sorting office’.. Just who do the Post Office think they are?.. As Royal Mail are a complete separate, and now private business they can ‘reject’ all they want and Royal Mail can move if they want. However It is a sad day when a small community loses another income because of cost savings, but that’s just how it is. I’m a postie, and looking at the ‘sorting office’ in Hawes, it’s looks like it was a dream job, I feel sorry for the posties from Hawes.

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