Services at rural post offices should be expanded - MLA

EAST Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan has welcomed a report by the Consumer Focus Post calling for rural post offices to offer more services.

The Sinn Fein representative wants the Post Office to expand its full range of service to every branch in the Larne Borough and the rest of Northern Ireland and look at a partnership with Executive Departments to offer more services that will provide stability for small and rural post offices.

Mr McMullan said: “This report focuses on the lack of services that the Executive Departments are offering through the post offices, services that are available in larger branches and in post offices across Britain.

“The Post Office has the most extensive number of branches across the North and provide a service that cannot be matched by other agencies. However, in recent years we have heard that many post offices - especially rural ones - are facing closure, yet there are many other services that could be added to ensure that these remain open.”

Mr McMullan believes services such as driving license renewal, vehicle tax renewal or other governmental services could be moved to make rural post offices more viable.

“The report also highlights that older, poorer and other vulnerable consumers, who regularly use the post office, do not always have access to online services and would benefit most from greater access to government services at their local post office,” Mr McMullan concluded.