Four 'at risk' community-run Post Offices on the Isle of Wight will be saved from closure, if parish councils go ahead with plans to put more taxpayer cash their way.

Inflationary pressures and a lack of footfall have seen stores and services in Godshill, Totland, Brading and Wootton, lose money in recent years.

Since 2011, Community Action IW has run the four not-for-profit Post Offices — through its trading arm, Island Community Ventures.

The charity first took over Godshill when it saved the village store from closure and expanded with outreach services in Totland, Brading and Wootton.

To cover its financial losses the organisation splits the costs with Godshill and Totland Parish Council, which each pay up to £5,000 a year.

Now, Mike Bulpitt, the chief executive of Community Action IW, has reached out to the parish councils to see if each would be willing to pay more, upping its maximum contribution to £7,000.

It would "share the burden of risk" between the bodies, Mr Bulpitt said.

He said it is very difficult to deliver financially viable Post Office services in rural areas with low population levels but they are still vital community services so sharing the cost helps keep them going.

Mr Bulpitt said Community Action was well aware of the financial pressures on parish councils but if they were unable to commit to more funding then a decision would have to be made as to whether the Post Offices can afford to continue.

Speaking at a meeting on Monday (January 8), Cllr Alison Child, the chair of Godshill Parish Council, revealed the results of a public consultation on the matter and said the response had been very positive in supporting the service so far.

Cllr Child said: "The shops don't want to close down and don't want to be losing money, the only trouble is the footfall has gone down and the prices are quite high.

"So we need to help them because once the shop is gone, it is gone and we won't get them back."

The parish council is having a meeting with Community Action in the coming days to see if there are ways it can help the store be more successful and incorporate new ideas.

Godshill Parish Council agreed on Monday its budget for the year ahead, which includes a five per cent precept increase for residents and supports the store and service with up to £7,000.

In Totland, the parish council has also drafted a budget which would increase the support for the Post Office to £7,000 a year.

Councillors did wonder whether reducing the hours of the Post Office would save money but it was felt it would not help as the general overheads would still need to be paid.