Having met to discuss the future of postal services in Ballasalla, following notice by the sub postmaster to terminate his contract, the Board of Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) has today (Thursday) agreed to seek expressions of interest for a service partner to provide assisted postal services in the Ballasalla community.
Following a consultation and attendance at two public meetings, the Board have diligently considered all the feedback it received from key stakeholders including political representatives for the area, the local authority, businesses, residents and users of the post office alike. A consistent theme of the responses, based on the proposed service change originally presented, was the need for a personable face-to-face service.
Therefore the Board will seek to appoint a partner to provide an enhanced offering to what it originally proposed by way of a more personal service trial, with assistance provided to customers to operate the touch screen services, encompassing standard postal services and important utility bill and rental payments, and to provide information and advice for completing paper based services, such as driving licence renewal forms. The Board has also agreed to expand the partner service to include parcel collections, thus ensuring customers can both post and collect postal items from the same location. IOMPO will work up this new service provision into an Expression of Interest as a priority with the intention to appoint the successful new service partner before the current sub postmaster completes his contractual notice period, ensuring continuity of service for the village.
Julie Edge MHK, Chairman of IOMPO, said: “I wish to assure everyone who took the time to attend the public meetings or submit feedback during the consultation period that their concerns have been meaningfully considered and in light of this, the Board have confirmed it will seek to find a service partner to ensure a personal service is retained in Ballasalla for those customers that require assistance. In terms of acting as a third party agent for Treasury pension and allowance payments, collection of benefits in person will need to be accessed from an alternative post office, use of a proxy or directly paid into a bank account.”
She continued: “Our Retail Network is loss making and the Board believe this innovative approach fulfils its requirement to be financially responsible while being aligned to its Tynwald approved modernisation strategy, and working hard to meet the social needs and expectations of customers. We believe this option will ensure that the residents of Ballasalla and the surrounding area, will continue to have quality access to postal services, subject of course to being able to attract a suitable partner in the area.”
IOMPO intends to formally seek expressions of interest in the coming weeks.