Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
National campaign to stop post office closures
A NATIONAL campaign has been launched to stop the closure of thousands of post offices – including the one in Lyme Regis.
Sub-postmasters from across the UK this week launched the Protect our Post Offices campaign to urge MPs to take immediate action to safeguard the future of post offices.
Organised by the National Federation of Sub-postmasters (NFSP), special campaign postcards will be in the post office in Broad Street for customers to sign.
On the postcards, the NFSP will demand to halt the privatisation of the Royal Mail, increase access to government services at post offices, allow people to continue to collect pensions and benefits and offer a comprehensive range of services at the post office.
Steve Pile, sub-postmaster at Charmouth Post Office, and former south west regional secretary for the NFSP, supported Les Gilbert, sub-postmaster for Lyme Regis, and said the problem is nationwide.
Mr Pile said: “There are such negative vibes emanating from the people who are elected to serve and help the community.
“Perhaps local post offices are the only ones helping the communities they serve.
“The big question is does Lyme Regis want or need a post office?
“It’s not Boots or WH Smith.
“Post Office Ltd is the only public outlet on the high street for national and international logistic services, and sub-postmasters are fully trained to serve. This makes it unique and needed.”
One of the main reasons for Mr Gilbert looking to move on from the post office in the town is because of the reduction in income he has received from the Post Office and the shop has been losing money for over a year.
George Thomson, general secretary of the NFSP, urged customers to sign the campaign postcards as the post office faced ‘irreparable damage’.
Mr Thomson said: “We have reached a critical point in the future of the post office network.
“Doing nothing is not an option as the current situation is unsustainable.
“Unless we see new work and reasonable rates of pay for subpostmasters, we face a future where this vital public service, which offers support and guidance to millions of people, is irreparably damaged.”