A DATE has been set for the closure of Burnley’s Crown Post Office.

The move will go ahead next month despite widespread public opposition.

Post Office bosses have announced that the Hargreaves Street branch will close at 5.30pm on Wednesday, April 23.

A replacement branch will open in the new WH Smith store in the Charter Walk shopping centre the following morning.

Burnley Council leader Julie Cooper has slammed the decision, claiming it will result in a poorer service for local customers.

She said: “It’s a disgrace that they haven’t listened to people in Burnley. Ultimately it will result in a reduced service.

“WH Smith is too far small to cope and the staff are not properly trained to deliver post office services.

“Only one member of staff is transferring across, the others have made other arrangements. It doesn’t bode well. It's a sad day for Burnley.” However, the Post Office has stuck by its decision to close its crown branch in Burnley, despite a public consultation and a petition of more than 4,000 names against the closure being handed over by local campaigners.

Roger Gale, Crown Network general manager, said: “We are committed to keeping a Post Office branch in Burnley and to maintaining the same levels of service for our customers. We believe the best way for us to do this is to change the way we operate it, so it will be run by WHSmith High Street Ltd rather than by us directly.”

A Post Office spokeswoman said the same range of services would be available.

The new branch will have a mixture of screened and open counters and will have opening hours extended by nine and a half hours per week, including four hours of service on Sundays.