USE them or lose them’ – MP Mel Stride urged people as he visited Lustleigh in support of rural Post Offices.

The Central Devon MP issued an appeal to his constituents to support rural post office branches – the last remaining amenity for many small communities.

Mr Stride, who has spent 15 years campaigning and lobbying in support of Devon’s post office network, made the plea during a visit to The Dairy in Lustleigh – which houses a popular village shop and a Post Office Local.

Mr Stride met with Shirley Wenham and Dean Copson, who bought the shop in June 2021 and immediately set about taking over the post office contract as the outreach service that was operating at the time was about to be withdrawn.

Shirley said: ‘There was a very real prospect of Lustleigh losing its post office provision, which is a lifeline to many residents here, particularly older residents who don’t drive.

‘We are fortunate to be well supported by the local community and are pleased in turn to help other businesses by selling local goods and produce from businesses in Lustleigh, Bovey Tracey and Moretonhampstead.’

Mr Stride added: ‘Rural Post offices are hugely valued local amenities and we must support them if they are to survive.

‘As we are more alert than ever about the need to reduce our carbon footprint, being able to walk to pick up a pint of milk or use a post office banking service is clearly preferable to jumping in the car and driving further afield.

‘It was great to meet Shirley and Dean and I was very pleased to learn of their recent fundraising to support the Disasters Emergency Committee providing humanitarian support to Ukraine.’

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