Bill Esterson hears Post Office closure concerns from Associatio

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson with Association of Convenience Stores chairman Jonathan James in Parliament.


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson heard that post office branches are crucial to the future of local shops when he met with the Association of Convenience Stores in Parliament this week.

Bill met with Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) chairman Jonathan James in Westminster to hear about the work of the ACS and the challenges its members face.

Some of the main issues facing ACS members is the rise of supermarkets and the subsequent fall in footfall at local shops.

Bill was told that community post offices are vital to the survival of local shops and shopping districts.

Bill said: "Jonathan James told me that many of his members who have seen nearby post offices closed, or moved away, have really suffered. Post offices bring in customers not just for the post office, but for the neighbouring shops.

"People calling into a post office will very often pop in to other shops. When those post offices close down, they experience a significant drop in custom.

"That is the concern for shops in Formby and Crosby where the Sub-Post Mistress at both offices says they are struggling because of changes made by the Post Office nationally. She warns that the closure of the post offices in Formby or Crosby would be devastating for the other shops in the Villages.

"And that warning is particularly relevant on Deyes Lane, where the post office there is being closed and a post office service is being opened up elsewhere in Maghull. As well as the increased inconvenience for existing customers who rely on that post office, the other shops on Deyes Lane will suffer as a consequence.

"With local shops already having a tough time due to the economy, our post offices are a vital part of our local economy. And that is the message from the Association of Convenience Store."

Bill praised the work of the ACS in working with small local retailers to help them through tough times.

Bill said: "The Association of Convenience Stores represents over 33,500 local shops throughout the United Kingdom, and they represent many of our excellent local shops here in Sefton Central.

"Local shops provide an essential service to their communities every day of the year. As a result, the convenience sector continues to grow.

"ACS supports its members in three ways by providing advice on complying with legislation changes, through lobbying government to get the best deal for retailers, and by allowing members to network within the industry to share best practice.

"Like the Federation of Small Businesses and other such groups, the ACS provides a fantastic service for its members - particularly during these tougher times."



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