WINCHESTER post offices will retain vital services after the national office secured a new car licence contract.

The Post Office announced on Tuesday (Nov 13) it reached a seven-year agreement with the Department for Transport to continue issuing tax discs, driving licence renewals and statutory off-road notices (SORN).

It is good news for Kings Worthy Post Office, after boss Sanjeeta Kaura said she was concerned for the future of her branch if it were to lose the services.

Mrs Kaura said: “I'm very pleased with the news, it is such a relief. It completely reassures me about the future and it means so much for the branch and residents.”

Winchester MP Steve Brine added he was delighted the government had backed the post office after he supported Mrs Kaura two months ago.

He said: “This is really excellent news and testament to the huge lobbying campaign waged by the Federation of sub-Postmasters and individual post office customers. I have had hundreds of constituents contact me about this and we left the minister in no doubt this was the only just decision he could make.

“This decision is part of delivering on that promise and is excellent news for Winchester, for Kings Worthy Post Office and for people across the country.”

Paula Vennells, chief executive of the post office, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this important framework contract for local branches to provide services on behalf of the DVLA. This is a ringing endorsement of the Post Office's strong track record in successfully delivering essential government services and in our ability to successfully deliver these services on behalf of the DVLA over the next seven years.”

The contract also allows the Post Office a gateway to access services in other government departments without having to undertake full procurement exercises.