Payments for council services made through post offices and local shops have rocketed by 59 per cent in the last year, new figures show.
Despite strong opposition from Labour and LibDem councillors, local Conservatives extended the ability to pay for various council services to local shops and post offices to give residents greater choice. But Labour and LibDems voted against these plans, arguing that residents should only be allowed to do it in council offices.
New figures have revealed that, prior to the changes, approximately 60,000 transactions were made through local businesses, but this figure leapt to 95,000, so an increase of about 35,000, or 59 per cent, in the following year.
Cotswold campaigner Helen Heeley said: “Putting more business the way of our shops and post offices is how we can help avoid any further damaging closures, like the sort ordered by the previous Labour government.
“With the LibDems and Labour voting against channelling more council payments through local businesses, it shows that only Conservatives are truly committed to supporting local traders.”