Post offices in towns around Penwith could be re-opened following campaigning from locals and West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas.

Various branches have been closed over the past five years, including the Newlyn one, which shut when the Horizon computer error scandal broke and PO staff around the UK were wrongly accused of theft.

Since then, the Save Newlyn Post Office group has been campaigning to have their branch re-opened in some form or other.

And Mr Thomas has been working to help them.

Action group spokesperson Jan Williams said: “We believe there needs to be a policy change in order to ensure sub post offices remain viable and rural areas like Newlyn and Mousehole are provided with adequate services.

“We feel very strongly given the amount of public money the government has handed over to bail out the Post Office following the Horizon debacle, conditions should be attached to the bailout. These could include the reinstatement of directly employed sub post masters/mistresses, which would immediately change the situation for rural areas.”

Jan said the village was promised a mobile service of 14-16 hours which became 12 hours and turned into around six-seven.

Mr Thomas said Post Office Ltd lacked a vision for rural locations and pledged to keep pressing the chief executive and the government minister to set out how they will salvage community branches like those in Newlyn, Carbis Bay and Porthleven.

Now his campaign has received a boost from Post Office Ltd management.

Senior managers have undertaken a review of their business and identified there is potential for more customers in these locations.

The next stage is a feasibility study, and managers have agreed to visit West Cornwall and meet Mr Thomas and representatives of Cornwall Council and the communities.

The aim will be to establish how post office counters can be reopened, and gather more evidence of demand.

Mr Thomas will be sending out a survey in the new year to establish the business case for reopening post offices and demonstrate their long-term viability.

A viable post office business could handle traditional post office functions as well as DVLA services and banking. 

Mr Thomas believes with many high street banks leaving, the Post Office has an opportunity to pick up this business and keep their presence in our communities.

He told the Voice: “I’m determined to secure the return of a permanent post office service to communities which have lost them. Access to services has been limited since the branches closed – and I know how much frustration this causes to residents who rely on them.

“My meetings with the Post Office have been getting more positive, but I’m determined to maintain the pressure to secure a sustainable future for permanent post offices in West Cornwall.

“I’ll be gathering as much evidence as I can over the next month, prior to the next meeting, and I’d urge anyone who cares about post office services to let me know their views.”

Mr Thomas can be contacted through his Facebook page and his website.