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Paying car tax or bills by cheque may be ruled out at Portland post office
COMMUNITY campaigners are concerned about the possible loss of services when a Portland post office gets a makeover.
Dorset Community Action (DCA) welcomes the news that the Fortuneswell branch will be saved under a plan to incorporate it with newsagent The Paper Shop just down the hill.
The move, which is currently out for consultation, comes after attempts by retiring postmistress Kay Schofield to sell the current branch which is housed in a historic building.
DCA manager Simon Thompson has concerns about the range of services that can be provided by the new Post Office Local model, as proposed for Fortuneswell.
Mr Thompson said: “We welcome the proposal to relocate the post office as this ends a period of uncertainty. The proposed extended hours will also be a boon to many.
“But we understand that Post Office Local cannot accept any paper transactions – for example you cannot buy car tax, pay bills by cheque here or pay cheques into your bank account as you can at full branches.
“As the post office at Easton has also gone over to the Local model this means there will be only one post office on Portland where it is possible to perform these transactions.
“This is particularly important in Fortuneswell as there are no banking facilities left here.”
A Post Office spokesman said: “Customers will be able to purchase car tax at the proposed new Fortuneswell branch. In addition to this, the branch will also accept enveloped cheques for automated banking deposits. The Local format is designed around following simple processes for handling transactions that are to be as straightforward and as quick as possible. This helps to minimise queues and provide an efficient and speedy service.
“However this does mean that a small number of services and products won’t be available at Local branches but these are generally the more time consuming, complex or paper-based transactions.”
Feedback is ‘welcomed’
OPENING hours for the new post office will be 5am-8pm Monday to Saturday and 6am-4pm on Sundays.
It is proposed to relocate in March. During the public consultation, Post Office Ltd welcomes feedback on any issues customers would like considered before a final decision is taken.
Submissions can be made by Freepost Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, or via email to comments@ postoffice.co.uk