Published: February 27, 2011
MP backs calls for better payment key facilities in Burnham-On-Sea

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week given her backing to local residents who are campaigning for more shops in the town to offer facilities to top-up electricity and gas payment keys.

Tessa Munt say she fully sympathises with frustrated residents who say Burnham is poorly served because just one outlet - the town's Post Office - offers the facilities to re-charge the widely-used utility payment keys.

Local resident Lyn Salvidge told "I live in rented accommodation and rely heavily on being able to top up my payment key for electricity supplies."

"You used to be able to recharge the keys at the former Threshers store in College Street, at the Esso garage in Oxford Street and at the former Somerfield supermarket, but now it is only Burnham Post Office which offers top-ups."

"The Post Office has limited opening hours, particularly at weekends, and only provides Payzone top-ups - not Paypoint services - which leaves Burnham very poorly served."

"It's so frustrating when there are five outlets in Highbridge at Asda, the Burnham Road Stores, the Post Office, Buncombes Garage and One Stop Shop - four of which have Paypoint facilities."

MP Tessa Munt told this week: "This issue does need to be urgently resolved. It's good that the Post Office is doing a fantastic job in providing the top-ups, but we need other retailers in Burnham to come forward to offer this vital service at other times of the day as well."

Tessa says she is also going to be campaigning to get better financial incentives introduced for smaller shops to offer the service.

She has written to the managers of Morrisons, Tesco and Esso in Burnham asking them to consider taking up the Paypoint and Zone Key chargers.

Another resident, Fiona Cawley, added: "The current situation here in Burnham is potentially a risk to public health. Not being able to buy electricity raises concerns about the well-being of the elderly and young families who may have no have heating or be able to cook. I hope we can get Morrisons and several other traders offering the payment key top-ups very soon."

Pictured (top) are MP Tessa Munt with some of the residents and councillors who are campaigning for more venues to buy payment key top-ups in Burnham and (above) Tessa with Lyn Salvidge outside Burnham Post Office


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