Victory! But is Post Office U-turn a temporary win?

Mark Bamforth of Warton Street Post Office, Lytham
Mark Bamforth of Warton Street Post Office, Lytham

A Lytham postmaster has cited “people power” as the reason behind his success in figting off Post Office pressure to relocate his counter.

Mark Bamforth (pictured)was told by Post Office chiefs last week that he can remain at the Warton Street branch for at least another 12 months.

I think people power had a leading part to play in the Post Office’s decision thanks to all the loyal and caring customers.

Mark Bamforth

The organisation wants its counters placed within other businesses and had previously told Mark to demonstrate an improved profit plan from his own businessif he wanted to retain the counter.

But now Mark and his loyal customers are celebrating the Post Office’s U-turn.

Mark said: “I think people power had a leading part to play in the Post Office’s decision thanks to all the loyal and caring customers.

“Most people who live around here have seen me grow up, my customers are like family and there is a very strong community bond.”

A total of 662 people signed an online petition to keep the counter in Warton Street before the Post Office decided to give a 12-month extension. Diane Brown, who set up the petition in protest to any proposed move of the Warton Street branch, is delighted with the Post Office’s change of heart.

She said: “It is a very popular Post Office and a lifeline to a lot of elderly people who find it difficult to get into the centre of Lytham.

“I think this is fantastic news and great for all small businesses and residents in the area.”

Fylde Conservative Parliamentary candidate Mark Menzies welcomed the news but warned residents support maybe needed again.

He said: “This is great news for those of us who support Mark and the Warton Street Post Office.

“However, while I am pleased that the Post Office has agreed to delay any decision on the branch, I know that many will see this as only a stay of execution.

“That is why it is important we keep up the pressure on Post Office Ltd so they know how important this store is to the people of Lytham.”

Fylde Labour Parliamentary candidate Ged Sullivan said: “I welcome the decision by the Post Office, the Warton Street branch is a vital service in Lytham.

“It provides a much greater purpose to residents than just providing stamps, it’s the hub of the community.”

Cath Powell, a resident on Warton Street said the public response had been “fantastic”.

She added: “It’s great for Mark, he goes the extra mile in everything he does, people are very grateful for his efforts.

“It’s a fantastic achievement and the support for Mark has been incredible.

“People have taken the time to write to parliament and the Post Office chief executive, they have done everything they can to be heard.”

A spokesman for the Post Office confirmed the Warton Street Post Office will continue to operate from the current location with the situation reviewed annually.

She added: “We are not planning to close any Post Offices and customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a service to the local community.

“In many locations, a Post Office local branch, where the Post Office serving position is part of the retail counter, offers the potential for a more efficient way of operating,and greater convenience and extended opening hours for customers.”