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Meltham Post Office staff refuse to go back to work until resident and post master Richard Noon resigns over alleged mismanagement

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Meltham Post Office staff refuse to go back to work until resident and post master Richard Noon resigns over alleged mismanagement

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Meltham Post Office staff on a wildcat strike have demanded the resignation of their postmaster before they return to work.

June Drake and Ken Jones have claimed Richard Noon, who is also a director of Meltham Community PO Limited, lacks the expertise to run the business since it moved to the Carlile Institute in September 2014.


But last night Mr Noon insisted he intends to step down and that the business could be sold.

The post office was closed to the public on Tuesday when the pair and business manager Ivar Smethurst, walked out.

The pair wrote a letter that was emailed out by Ivar on Sunday evening summarising their discontent, and said there were problems over an unpaid HMRC tax bill, late wages, a perceived staff shortage which has hindered the staff’s ability to take holidays and a lack of a pension scheme.


They have said that they are also unhappy with the removal of £341 of stationery items by the Post Office’s supplier S Gregory & Co., with that company claiming a further £480.78 since August has not been paid.

The Post Office opened to the public yesterday, but only Mr Smethurst and a new staff member who was drafted in were working.

Mr Jones, who has worked at the Meltham branch formerly located on Holmfirth Road for 28 years, said: “We have reached an impasse with Mr Noon.

“We want his resignation and we won’t go back until that happens. He’s not got the financial expertise to run the business – it’s doomed.

“I’ve worked in the Post Office for 28 years and I know how to run one. We stand by what we said in the email regarding the tax, pay, holidays and pension.”

Ms Drake said: “It’s been quite embarrassing working there when we don’t have the basic stock in. I’ve had late wage payments and even though Ken and I are part time we’ve had to work full time hours if one of us wants a holiday.

Image
Business Manager Ivar Smethurst with staff June Drake and Ken Jones at new Meltham Post Office at Carlile Institute.
“It’s just not a nice atmosphere to work in. It’s like we’re not being looked after by our post master “

Mr Noon said the Meltham office was now one of the best around - but revealed a deal is on the cards to sell it on.

“For the last few months we have been working with a potential purchaser. This remains a confidential transaction until the deal is agreed. Meltham Parish Council and Locality, an organisation which supports community businesses, are aware of this.

“It was always the intention I’d step down and the last few months of negotiations are testament to that.

“I need to concentrate on my family, my job and the continued development of the Carlile Community Hub.

“I’d like to encourage you all to support Ivar as he continues to manage this incredibly important, vibrant and transformed Meltham Post Office”.
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Meltham Post Office dispute on its way to being resolved says postmaster Richard Noon

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http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yor ... y-10555663" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;?

The Meltham Post Office dispute is on its way to being resolved says the man responsible for running it.

The office is operated by the Carlile Institute Community Interest Company on Huddersfield Road building, but two Post Office staff walked out last week in protest at HMRC tax and stationery bills and alleged issues involving staff payments, holiday entitlements and pension scheme.

Richard Noon, postmaster for the branch and a director of Meltham Community PO Limited, which was created when the service moved in 2014, said: “The debt to the HMRC has been paid and the amount we owe to the stationery provider is in hand – everything will be paid.

“It’s unfortunate about what has happened regarding our stationery provider but we have found someone who can supply it to us cheaper.

“And concerning the other claims, staff will be getting sent a letter regarding those issues.”

Mr Noon said that the company’s accounts will also be made public.

“People can access these anyway but we will make them public so that people can see nothing has been done wrong.”

The Post Office closed for one day on December 1 but has opened every day since then with the Post Office’s business manager Ivar Smethurst and drafted-in staff.

As previously reported, Mr Noon said that he and the Post Office business manager Ivar Smethurst had been in discussions with councillors about how to make the Post Office work for several months.

One Holme Valley North councillor, Charles Greaves of the Green and Valley Independent Group, stressed his and “other members of the Carlile Institute’s support for Mr Noon.

“It’s a bit disappointing that this situation has happened as we had almost concluded the issues”, he said.

“Myself and other members of the Carlile Institute are supportive of the work Richard has done.

“Without his involvement there wouldn’t be a Post Office in Meltham to be talking about.

“He’s put a lot of time into this and I don’t know a project where it has gone alright– I don’t know what he could have done to make it better.

“We are on the home straight to ensure we can keep it for the future.”
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