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Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart today issued a statement following concerns from constituents over future DVLA services at post offices. He said: "I have been contacted by a great number of constituents concerned about the future of DVLA services at the Post Office, and I fully appreciate their concerns and thank them for getting in touch.
"Currently, DVLA is running a procurement competition for the services that are presently provided by the Post Office. It is required by EU law to competitively tender this contract and it is, therefore, a fully open and entirely commercial process and one which the
"Government cannot take sides on. However, the Government has made clear that it wants to see the Post Office become a genuine 'front office' for Government at both national and local levels. I completely agree with this position, as Post Offices are a natural place for people to access government services such as identity verification.
"Many valuable services are already available, which we all use on a regular basis, such as managing “Passport Check & Send” on behalf of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS); accessing simple bank accounts for those receiving benefits, state pensions and tax credit payments; and, most recently, the collection of biometric data for the
residence permits. I fully support our Post Offices as an ideal place to continue to run such services.
"I understand that the Post Office continues to actively engage with Government to explore how it will deliver more services such as these. The Post Office is further expanding its existing identity verification capability, which is becoming increasingly important as more services can be delivered online, and is developing new services to help those who are unable to access services or information online, such as print-on-demand kiosks. In areas such as Cumbria, it is particularly important that we continue to use our Post Offices as convenient and efficient centres for such services, and I shall certainly ensure that Ministers are made aware of the acute level of concern here in Penrith and the Border."