‘Post office will not be closing’

Altaf Patel's post office in Park Street, Lytham

Altaf Patel's post office in Park Street, Lytham

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A SUB-POSTMASTER is hoping for a new lease of life for a Fylde post office.

The Park Street branch in Lytham could welcome in a new business to trade alongside or move premises to work with another business, under national network transformation plans by the Post Office.

Altaf Patel, sub-postmaster at the post office, says he is frustrated by the proposed changes after seeing a 30 per cent drop in its budget in recent years.

But the sub-postmaster, who has run the office since 2006, stressed the post office will not be disappearing and he remains committed to the post office and the Lytham community who use it.

Mr Patel said: “The Post Office is looking at relocating or getting something else in here.

“It’s not becoming commercially viable so we’re looking at alternatives.”

A move would only be to premises a very short distance from the current office so it would not inconvenience customers, Post Office management has stressed.

Julia Harrison, senior stakeholder manager for the Post Office North West, said: “The network transformation is a very positive step.

“We have been talking to other businesses to let them know of the opportunity here.

“But before any permanent change we will put up posters around to let people know.”

Mr Patel explained the branch has struggled due to a drop in customer numbers and the amount paid for transactions, teamed with rising overhead costs.

But he added: “The Post Office wants us to make it into a convenience store, but we’re only a stone’s throw from Tesco Express, Booths and Spar, so it’s limited in terms of what I could do to increase revenue.

“I’m frustrated because they have said they will only invest here if we change.

“But I’ve been the longest serving postmaster in Lytham and I remain very dedicated.”