Bill Esterson meets Formby and Crosby Sub-Post Mistress who warn

 Bill Esterson and Sue Lambert

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson heard this week how the future of Formby's and Crosby's Post Offices could be under threat due to changes being introduced by the company.

Bill met with the town's Sub-Post Mistress Sue Lambert who told the MP that it was now costing her money to keep the Formby Brows Lane and Crosby Village Post Office open.

Sue said the loss of the Post Office would be devastating for the Village.

Sue told Bill: "We have 2,500 people coming to use our Post Office. If we were to close that would be 2,500 fewer people coming into the Village. That's 2,500 fewer people coming in and using our local businesses.

"It would be devastating for Formby and Crosby if that were to happen. It would be devastating for the other local businesses.

"But that is the very real danger with the changes the Post Office is making.

"Because the Post Office is trying to cut back on the payment it makes to Sub Post Offices, it is making my business near impossible to continue.

"For example, both Crosby and Formby provide car tax services. When I first came here seven years ago, I got £1.20 for each time car tax was purchased through my shop. That has now been slashed to 70p and that is likely to be cut even further. The Federation of Postmaster expect it to be cut as low as 25p. There is no way you can make a business work on that.

"I have to pay the rent, the council tax, the rates, wages and the bills. The money I am being paid for the services I provide aren't covering those costs. Expenses going up and income going down."

Sue is even using her own savings to keep the businesses in Formby and Crosby afloat.

She said: "Running these Post Offices is costing me money. I'm having to go into my savings to keep the business going. 

"I'm cashing in savings that are supposed to be paying my mortgage. My accountant has said this is a waste of my time and money. But I just don't want to give up on this. I want to make this business work for Formby and Crosby.

"I employ four members of staff here in Formby. Another four in Crosby. Originally we had seven in each. I want to do everything I can to make sure they've got a job.

"Our Post Offices in Formby and Crosby are  parts of the community. We look after all our customers. We know the customers. We need to listen to our customers to find out what they want.

"Formby Village and Crosby Village cannot afford to lose our Post Offices. We need to make sure that doesn't happen."

Bill Esterson said it was crucial that Post Offices were saved in our communities.

Bill said: "Not only are Post Offices a lifeline for a large number of people who rely on the services they provide, but they are a lifeline for our struggling town shopping centres. Thousands of people each week come into Formby and Crosby Villages to use our local Post Offices. Without these Post Offices, those thousands of people would go elsewhere and this in turn would be a huge blow to our local businesses.

"I have had a number of meetings with the Post Office about their 'modernisation' plans for shops throughout the country. These plans include incorporating Post Office counters in retail shops. While that could work for some outlets, it isn't suitable for all outlets.

"Sue informs me that she has looked at the Post Office's proposals and concluded that the plans would not be suitable for the Post Offices in Formby and Crosby. She says her customers value the dedicated Post Office counters and wouldn't support incorporating a Post Office desk into a regular shop checkout, with the ensuing issues around privacy and so on.

"While I understand the Post Office's attempts to modernise, they must listen to Sub-Post Masters and Mistresses in our communities, like Sue, who are at the frontline of the service, who know what works and what doesn't and who know what their customers want and need."

 

Sue Lambert and Bill Esterson

 

 

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