‘Use it or lose it’ plea from Post Office boss

Postmaster George Anderson with wife Evelyn outside Warton Post Office on Main Street.
Postmaster George Anderson with wife Evelyn outside Warton Post Office on Main Street.
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Residents have been urged to use their village post office - or say goodbye to it.

The branch in Warton, near Carnforth, is facing a ‘shaky’ future, sub-postmaster George Anderson said.

Mr Anderson has closed the shop side of the business because of a sharp decline in custom.

And he admitted the remaining post office element of the operation was facing uncertainty, with sometimes just three customers an hour passing through the door.

The 60-year-old, who has run the venture with his wife Evelyn, 56, since moving from Scotland in 2000, said: “If Warton still has a post office in three years, it will be lucky. If the village wants a post office, people really have to use it - whether it’s for a stamp, a letter, to send a parcel or to take money out.”

Mr Anderson explainedcompetition from nearby Tesco and a shift in the village’s demographic had impacted his decision to close the shop, which was a newsagent, tobacconist and off-license.

He said: “There are a lot of young people in the village now who use supermarkets and the older ones have either died or moved to be nearer to family so during the day there’s really no one around to use a shop.”

Mr Anderson criticised recent Government changes he said made it easier for people to collect their pension at banks rather than opening a post office account and said rules which mean he cannot supply DVLA or passport documents, while other local branches can, had been a blow.

He said: “You feel like you’ve failed but I don’t think we have,. We’re well thought of in the village. It’s a great place to live and we’ll stay here.” A Post Office spokesman said the DVLA and passport office agreed the number of branches that could offer its services based on geographical need.”