LEADING councillors were given a dressing-down by the Mayor when a furious row broke out at Accrington Town Hall this week.
The storm blew up during a debate over plans to privatise Accrington's main post office by turning it into a franchise.
The Crown Post Office in Abbey Street is due to change hands on 16 October to become a sub-post office, run by UBF Ltd.
Under the controversial plans, the 15 staff who currently work there face being either axed or transferred to another office as UBF will hire and train its own staff under the deal.
Labour group leader Councillor Graham Jones called on the ruling Tories to write to the Post Office voicing the council's anger over the plans.
But this drew criticism from council leader Peter Britcliffe who said: "It is the Labour Government that is viciously attacking the service the Post Office is providing.
"It is no good crying these socialist tears when it is your party's fault that the Post Office is in this situation. It is like you are trying to say they are not your government."
This prompted a back-lash from Councillor Jones who accused the Tories of not caring about the future of the Post Office.
Councillor Doug Hayes protested, saying he felt Councillor Jones' comments were unfair, and insults started to fly as the exchanges became heated.
The Mayor, Councillor Mohammed Rahman, adjourned the meeting for five minutes while he spoke privately to Councillor Jones and Councillor Britcliffe.
After the meeting, Councillor Hayes said: "I don't like my integrity being questioned and it was just getting beyond a joke.
"I felt the whole thing was uncalled for.
"I have brought this up at previous council meetings.
"The problem is that many smaller branches no longer do things like TV licences and they are forced to sell smaller items just to get by."