Rallying call to save post office... again

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The future of a post office saved by people power is once again under threat.

Despite the fact some 5,000 people signed a petition to save Warton Street Post Office in Lytham in 2008, Post Office bosses are planning changes which could involve the closure of the branch and a move elsewhere.

And this year would be the 50th anniversary of the family running the branch.

Mark Bamforth, a Fylde councillor who runs the Post Office as part of his retail business, said Post Office bosses were due to meet with him last week, but will now talk to him about the future of the facility on Tuesday. A petition has again been launched and has already attracted hundreds of pledges of support.

Mr Bamforth said: “I’ve been told they are looking at taking the Post Office business away. It is under threat again.

“My customers are 100 per cent behind me, just as they were back in 2008 when they helped save it.

“I would like to thank all of my customers for their support – it is much appreciated at this very worrying time.”

The move is part of sweeping Post Office changes that will see either investment – such as at St Annes Post Office in Wood Street – or branch closures.

Cath Powell, a Warton Street resident who helped plan the last campaign to save the facility said: “There will be another full campaign and we are planning it at the moment.

“I would like to thank all of my customers for their support – it is much appreciated at this very worrying time.

“It has been there for 50 years this year, and it is in the perfect place for people to drop off parcels because it has parking.

“They made the mistake in Blackpool of putting the Post Office inside WH Smith, and it isn’t as accessible for people who want to pull up and post a parcel. It seems to be ridiculous cost-cutting.

“We won’t take it lying down – we didn’t last time and we will fight for it again.

“It is in the perfect spot and should remain where it is.”

Coun Brenda Ackers, also a key player in the campaign to save the facility last time, said: “It’s not just a Post Office, it’s a community hub.

“Everyone around there regards Mark as a friend and a confidant.

“It would be very sad for those people who live nearby and can manage to walk around to it for a chat if they dispose of the facility.

“We worked very hard to save it.

“We staged a march, handed out leaflets and got the support of MPs. We would all be very sorry if it were to close.

“It was shown at the last election in the ward how very supportive people are of Mark.”

In response to the claim Warton Street is under threat, a spokesman for the Post Office said: “We need to ensure our branches are commercially sustainable into the future and want to work with the postmaster at Warton Street to explore the best way of achieving this.

“We would like to reassure customers the Post Office is committed to maintaining a Post Office service in the area and will work hard to ensure this.”