Millwey Rise Post Office opens

PUBLISHED: 12:27 18 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:36 15 June 2010

THE NEW Millwey Rise Post Office officially opened last Wednesday on the eve of the government announcing it will retain its card account. During the one year trial, Millwey Rise will offer a wide range of Post Office services alongside retail transactio

THE NEW Millwey Rise Post Office officially opened last Wednesday on the eve of the government announcing it will retain its card account.

During the one year trial, Millwey Rise will offer a wide range of Post Office services alongside retail transactions, but its success will be largely dependent on customer usage.

And on Thursday the government said it would keep its £1 billion benefits contract - giving temporary reprieve to more than 3,000 branches that were thought to be in danger.

The National Federation of Sub postmasters had warned such branches would close if the card account service was taken away.

Sub postmaster Terry Fisher said: "It is good news in so far as we are still here, providing a service. We have achieved our objective of keeping a post office service here.

"People appear to be happy so far and have shown it with their support. Everybody counts. We want it to work but we have to make sure it makes a profit and is a viable business otherwise we'll have no way of making a living or keeping the bank happy."

He said there would not be many changes they would no longer do paper-related transactions, such as handling cheques, to be more productive.

Post Office Limited essentials account manager Pauline James visited the store in a show of support and to make sure the change went smoothly.

She said: "It's going very well. We are pleased the customers seem to be please that they can still access services - get cash, pay bills and use a range of the Mail's services and products.

"We want to see if it works from the retail point of view and whether customers use it and like the service."

East Devon District Council has welcomed the card contracts which will run from 2010 when the current one runs out. They are due to finish in March 2015 but could be extended.

Councillor Ken Potter said: "A battle has been won but we now have three years in which to win the war. EDDC and our partners at Devon County Council are doing everything possible to help in creating a viable national network of 11,500 Post Office branches.

"After the recent loss of 2,500 branches, thankfully the blood-letting will stop. It seems that the minister has at last seen sense and has responded to pressure from our communities to save rural and urban life in villages and towns nationwide."

The Post Office card account generates and income of around £200 million a year, which supporters see as a key part of the Post Office's income, as well as bringing customers into Post Offices to spend money on other purchases.


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