‘Change or we may move your post office’

Mark Bamforth
Mark Bamforth
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A Lytham sub-postmaster must increase his retail offering – or face losing his Post Office counter.

As part of a scheme to save millions, the Post Office is relocating branches to retail outlets.

Now, Mark Bamforth faces the prospect of losing his Post Office in Warton Street, Lytham, unless he can show Post Office bosses a business plan detailing how he can make up the shortfall of Post Office funding from the retail side of his business.

He said: “They want me to live off the commission alone for all the work that goes into running a branch.

“Basically I will lose the wage they pay people to run a counter, and they want me to prove I can increase my earnings from the shop by the same amount, or they will take the business away from me.”

A letter from the Post Office, seen by The Gazette, states: “We need to make sure our branches are commercially sustainable into the future.

“If it is not possible to identify a way to develop the branch... we may consider relocating the business to another retailer.”

It also states the branch will not close, but does not rule out it could be relocated.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has lent his support to Mr Bamforth, as have hundreds of people on a Facebook page dedicated to keeping the business where it is.

In 2008, hundreds of people fought to keep the Post Office open when it was earmarked for closure.

The news follows plans by the Post Office to relocate Freckleton Post Office to a new site where it will open as a modern branch with extended opening hours.

The new branch, at Spar in Lytham Road, would move 200m from the present Post Office in Preston Old Road.

Should the move go ahead, the branch would open from 7.30am to 10pm Monday to Sunday, offering an extra 60 hours of service every week.

Adrian Wales, regional manager said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Freckleton and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

A consultation into the move is continuing until December 18.

Anyone wishing to contact the Post Office and make representations should call 08457 22 33 44 or email comments@postoffice.co.uk