Plans to close more post offices could lead to the collapse of suburban shopping parades, the leadership of Birmingham City Council has warned.
A resolution opposing any further post office closure and urging Ministers to abandon their rationalisation plans was passed by the full council.
Deputy council leader Paul Tilsley said 55 post offices had closed in Birmingham since 1999, and a further 10 were in danger. Coun Tilsley (Lib Dem Sheldon) added: "I despair at the Government attitude on this issue. The axe is cutting deeper."
He said many small shopping centres were in danger of closing down without the "bedrock" of the local post office to draw in shoppers.
Post Office bosses will work out the latest closure programme early next year, map-ping the location of the remaining Birmingham post offices against a new criteria. This will involve making sure that 95 per cent of the urban population continues to live within one mile of a post office - a rule described as completely arbitrary by Coun Tilsley.
Labour councillors said that new ways of conducting business, including the growth on telephone and internet banking, meant that many post offices were no longer well used and some further closures would be necessary.
Nationally, four million fewer people a week were using their local post office than was the case two years ago.
Ian Ward, deputy leader of the council Labour group, insisted "some restructuring" was necessary to put the network on a firm, sustainable footing. The Government had acknowledged the social importance of post offices by committing £150 million to support the network in each of the five years 2004-2008 and would continue support up until 2011, Coun Ward (Lab Shard End) said.
Post offices across the country were losing £4 million a week. The Government had "some justification" in proposing that up to 2,500 post offices out of the current total of 14,000 would need to close, he added.