DCSIMG

Post office to move as booze fears dismissed

Local residents are protesting against plans to move Whitegate Drive Post Office from its present position to inside an off-licence on the other side of the road. Locals, including ward councillor Mark Smith (second left) outside the post office.  PIC BY ROB LOCK

Local residents are protesting against plans to move Whitegate Drive Post Office from its present position to inside an off-licence on the other side of the road. Locals, including ward councillor Mark Smith (second left) outside the post office. PIC BY ROB LOCK

Residents have lost their 
battle to prevent their local post office being relocated into a nearby off-licence.

They warned it was inappropriate to have alcohol sales on the same premises as post 
office services.

But following consultation, bosses have decided to go ahead with relocating the Whitegate Drive Post Office in Blackpool from its current 
position to the Wine Shop across the road.

A Post Office spokesman said: “We recognise some customers may be concerned about carrying out their Post Office business in a different type of environment from what they are used to.

“The new postmaster is keen to offer Post Office services and is looking forward to welcoming customers.

“The Wine Shop will be changing its name and retail offer to provide a wider range of convenience and retail goods, alongside Post Office products and services.

“We already have a number of branches successfully 
operating from similar types of retailer and would like to reassure customers that this doesn’t compromise the 
professional service that we expect to be provided at all our Post Office branches.”

The change has been prompted by the retirement of the current postmaster and his wife.

Dave Blacker, chairman of the Talbot PACT (police and community together), said, while he was disappointed with the decision, he hoped the community could work with the new postmaster.

He said: “The decision has been made now but I think it is important that the community engagement continues so we can work together.

“The ward does have some serious concerns around 
alcohol and drugs and I hope to invite the new postmaster to a meeting of the PACT.”

Rita Walsh, of the Blackpool Senior Voice Forum, said: “The biggest concern is that one of the problems we find is elderly people can be lonely at times and will often use alcohol to fill the void.

“I do not want them to be a target for alcohol marketing when they are going to the post office.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “This must not become the template for the way we deal with changes at other post offices in Blackpool and I shall be pressing the chief executive of the Post 
Office on it.”

 

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