Postmasters have issued a stark warning to people to ‘use or lose’ their local post office after accusing the Government of ‘asset stripping’ the service to its ‘bare bones’.
Middle Rasen postmaster Andy Blagojevitch and East Barkwith postmaster David Ward are urging people to support their local branch and use the services that still exist.
Mr Ward said: “Post offices are being starved out of business.
“The Government has asset stripped the post office to its bare bones.
“There’s a lot struggling, doing less business, and employing fewer people.
“We’ve got to work hard at retail, selling more energy drinks.”
Post offices can no longer do things such as TV licensing and it has recently lost Government-run premium bonds, which Mr Ward described as ‘another nail in the coffin’.
Following the closure of NatWest’s Market Rasen branch, Mr Ward and Mr Blagojevitch urged residents to use banking services available at the post office.
Mr Blagojevitch said: “A lot of customers are still surprised they can draw cash from their bank account free of charge.
“There’s nothing in it for the banks to promote it but with a lot of banks closing it’s becoming more important.”
Mr Blagojevitch said that at one point about 40 per cent of business of his came from paying out pensions - but now this is significantly lower.
He said: “We hardly carry out anything for the Government now.
“It can be a struggle at times.
“People need to know it’s a case of use it or lose it.
“Once you lose a post office you never get it back.”
And Mr Blagojevitch said Middle Rasen post office was a great ‘hub’ for the community.
He said: “People have a good natter to each other.
“Sometimes it might be the only time they see another person all day.”
A spokesman for the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which looks after the post office, said: “The post office is the largest provider of counter-based Government services in the UK.
“The Government can’t simply award contracts for services to the post office.
“This must be procured competitively to ensure value for taxpayers’ money.”
And the spokesman said the post office was ‘well placed’ to win any contracts.
He said: “The post office is well placed to bid for, and win, contracts, with its extensive geographical reach and key role in the heart of communities.”
What do you think? Do you use your local post office? What do you think the future holds for the post office?
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