Oxfordshire councils are exploring the possibility of offering their services through the area's post offices.

If given the green light, all post offices in the area would be able to offer parking permits and rent and council tax payments.

Oxford city councillor Jean Fooks said the arrangement would benefit everybody. "If the councils provide more business through post offices that would make them more viable, and save the council money," she said. "Anything that stops post offices going has to be good. People could pay rent and council tax there, and move to anything else where the council deals with money."

A similar scheme has been trialled in Sheffield with the city council allowing council tax and rent payments to be made at any post office branch throughout the city. Sheffield council hopes to extend this trial to include parking permits and blue badges for drivers with a disability.

National Federation of SubPostmasters general secretary George Thomson has made repeated calls for government to offer more services through the post office network in order to sustain its future.

A Post Office spokesman said it was "always willing to discuss new initiatives that help us develop new business".

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