Joy as post offices keep car tax trade

Lytham Post Office and (below) Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.
Lytham Post Office and (below) Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.
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POST Office subpostmasters across the Fylde have said they are both delighted and relieved they will be able to continue offering customers car tax services.

The Post Office announced this week UK motorists will continue to be able to buy tax discs and apply for driving licences from it after winning the Government’s DVLA contract.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard.

The £450m contract will run for another seven years, keeping post offices offering customers a range of services.

Linda Hall, subpostmaster at Hambleton Post Office, on Sandy Lane, said: “We’re all pleased about the news.

“The more services we can offer then the more footfall we can get.”

Unions have said these services are vital to keeping post offices open.

Paypoint, a payments network, had also bid for the contract which was due to run out in March next year.

Altaf Patel, subpostmaster at Lytham Post Office, said in September falling budgets meant he was looking into bringing another business into his Park Road premises to increase revenue and customers to the office.

He said: “If this contract wasn’t kept it would have meant the loss of a lot of post offices.

“We had a campaign with our customers signing up to get the government to make sure the contract didn’t go to someone else.

“If we had lost it it would have meant post offices would have struggled.”

A campaign was led by the National Federation of Subpostmasters, backed by customers.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has welcomed the news, having written to the Government on behalf of his constituents who campaigned for their post offices.

He said: “I wrote to Government ministers to ensure post offices continue to
be economically viable to their sub-postmaster as a business.

“Post offices are a valuable community service cherished by many people, especially those who are vulnerable.

“I am delighted this contract will both protect the Post Office network and save money for the taxpayer.”

Peter Swarbrick, subpostmaster at Stalmine Post
Office, on Hall Gate Lane, said he hopes the contract renewal will mean more post offices can start offering the service.

He said: “I have a lot of people coming in to sort out their tax discs and driving licences, but I have to say sorry I don’t do them.

“I’m pleased for the network as a whole and it might be an opportunity for here, I’ll have to wait and see.”

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