DVLA contract “key” to post offices’ future

LOCAL MP Mike Weir has challenged the UK Government to “put its money where its mouth is” to back its promise to make the Post Office the “front office of Government”.

During Scottish Questions in the House of Commons Mr Weir, SNP postal affairs spokesman, said the future of a £60 million a year DVLA contract is a key test of that promise.

He highlighted a new report from the National Federation of SubPostmasters which underlines the dramatic decline in government services delivered through the network under the previous Labour government.

The report reveals that in 2004/2005 government services accounted for nearly half (£576 million) of all revenue received by the Post Office but by 2009/10 this had fallen to around a fifth (£167 million) of all Post Office revenue.

Mr Weir said: “If the DVLA contract is lost it will have a very serious impact on the future of local post offices. This could have a devastating effect in communities across Angus. It’s imperative that the government and post office look seriously at the ability to deliver these essential services. Failure to do so could lead to a further spiral of decline and undermine the viability of vital post office services.”