Central Devon has the third most post offices of any constituency in the UK and one of Mel's top priorities as an MP has been to keep them open and, where possible, increase their opening hours to help them stay viable.
He was instrumental in getting Ashburton Library moved into the Post Office (pictured) which has been a huge success, significantly increasing the library’s opening hours and increasing footfall at the post office as well. He also worked with a former apprentice at the branch in organising a local forum (believed to be a UK first) where sub-postmasters from across his constituency got together to discuss ideas and best practice.
When Barclays Bank was refusing to let their customers withdraw money at local post office branches, Mel made an impassioned plea in the House of Commons. The next day Barclays reversed their decision - a victory for all Barclays customers in Central Devon who can now withdraw cash at their local post office rather than travel much further afield to their nearest Barclays branch.
Prior to his election as an MP Mel raised 14,000 signatures door-to-door for his petition against the last Labour Government's post office closure programme which saw over a third of branches in the UK close. He also ran several 'Use it or Lose it' campaigns for specific branches to help encourage local communities to support their post offices.