RYE MP Amber Rudd is urging the Government to support local Post Offices.
Amber has written to both The Treasury and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills , asking the Government to assist local Post Offices byensuring that Government services, such as passport checking, can be adminsitered through them.
Sub-postmistress Monika Mathieu presented Amber Rudd MP with more than 300 campaign postcards signed by customers, calling on the government to award a vital contract for DVLA services to the Post Office.
Hundreds of local residents have backed a campaign to make sure that the £60m-a-year contract for paying vehicle tax and renewing and updating driving licences is retained by the Post Office.
Monika Mathieu said: “Local post offices provide vital services to the entire community, and DVLA is a key part of that service. The threat of the contract being removed is a major concern for me, my customers and the future of this post office, so I’m delighted that so many local people have backed our campaign.
“Customers want and expect to be able to access government services such as DVLA in the secure, trusted and convenient environment of their local post office. In a recent nationwide survey, 73% of people said the Post Office was the most appropriate location for providing face-to-face government services – compared to just 11% who said supermarkets and 5% who said convenience stores.
“We are calling on the government to listen to the public and make sure the DVLA contract is awarded to the Post Office, together with more contracts for other government work.”
Amber commented: “Whilst this is an independent procurement process, I believe that the Post Office is the natural place for people to access government services and therefore the DVLA contract should be awarded to the post office.
This is why I have written to the Treasury and BIS supporting local residents who have backed this campaign.
“The Government has made it clear that it wants to see the Post Office become a genuine front office for Government at both the national and local level. In addition, the Post Office continues to actively engage with Government to explore how it will deliver more key services.”
Post Offices in the Rye area have suffered in recent years.
Tilling Green Post Office closed in 2008 after a heard fought public campaign to kep it open fell on deaf ears.
The closure caused hardship for many elderly people on the estate.
Winchelsea too suffered the closure of its main Post Office, though Post Office services re now offered by the Little Shop in the town.