Hawes Royal Mail sorting office set for closure

Hawes sorting office.

Royal Mail has confirmed plans to close its sorting office in Hawes.

The company wants to relocate the office from Hawes to its facility in Leyburn.

However, upper dales county councillor John Backie, who is also chair of the parish council and volunteer sub-postmaster at Hawes Post Office, said he intends to fight the plans.

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He said the closure would mean the loss of the two/three full-time jobs once the current job holders, who live in the upper dales area, move on or retire.

He added: “This is a real blow to a deeply rural community that has lost other public service employment recently.

“Richmondshire District Council has cut three full-time jobs based in Hawes, two on the refuse service freighter (dustcart), and a street caretaker, all relocated to Richmond.

“We can ill-afford to lose this reasonably well-paid and steady year round full-time employment from the town – six full time jobs based in a local economy like Hawes make a considerable financial contribution to its viability with those employed spending their wages locally rather than well beyond the town.”

Cllr Blackie said that although undelivered mail would generally be kept at the town’s community-run post office for collection following the proposed closure, residents and businesses would on occasion still have to travel to Leyburn to collect items.

He added: “I will on behalf of the deeply rural upper dales communities that have been, and continue to be served, by the Hawes Sorting Office be objecting very strongly indeed to the Royal Mail proposal to permanently close the Office.

“I will also be challenging the suggestion by Royal Mail that there are any cost savings it can realise from the proposal, or any efficiency improvements, as on the contrary I consider it will cost more to operate from the Leyburn Sorting Office and the customer service given by the two post rounds based in Hawes is bound to deteriorate.”

Royal Mail spokesperson Henry Perry said: “Royal Mail can confirm that we have proposed relocating our delivery operations in Hawes to Leyburn Delivery Office.

“The postmen who currently work in our Hawes office will continue to serve the local community if the move goes ahead.

“There would be no impact on delivery service to customers, and we anticipate that customers would be able to continue collecting their mail from Hawes Post Office.”

The proposed closure will be discussed by Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council at 7.30pm on Monday night at Gayle Institute.

Cllr Blackie said the Post Office, which will make the final decision on the future of the sorting office, has agreed to wait until after the meeting before making that decision.

1 Comment

  1. this is one of the real reasons the dales is in decline, fewer jobs means people / families will move out of the Dale, yet the YDNPA believe it’s down to second home owners?

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