Appeals to UK Ministers over post office closures

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Three Post Offices in Thornhill, Gretna and Georgetown are all set to close in February. Although Post Office insist they are looking for new partners to run the services, they have admitted that they are yet to identify anyone.

South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has written to UK Government Ministers following the announcement of the closures in Dumfries and Galloway urging them to intervene.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said,

“Post Office Ltd is still owned by the UK Government. I have therefore written to them asking them to intervene. Their model of selling off premises and instead contracting out services to convenience stores has clearly failed. The fee they offer private businesses to run these counters is far too low to make them viable so must be reviewed as a matter of urgency. They must do more to keep these services open.

“When banks were closing premises in rural areas they countered criticism by telling customers that alternative banking services would still be available in post offices. Now we hear that they are closing too. This situation was predicted by many, including myself when I campaigned to stop the closure of the Eastriggs post office in 2016. No wonder our communities feel completelyet down.

“It’s clear that our Post Offices aren’t safe in the hands of the UK Tory Government who don’t believe in subsidising public services if they don’t make a profit for a private company. They’d rather see them closed. It’s just another example of how their policies are harming our rural communities.”

Dumfries & Galloway Councillor Stephen Thompson said,

“These post offices are serving small local rural communities and are already carrying the weight of local bank branch closures. The fact that the UK postal service model is failing rural communities in Scotland, while control and influence sits in Westminster, shows how underserved we are in Dumfries and Galloway by the increasingly whimsical UK Government.

“Our elected representatives for our Councils and for our Scottish Parliament would love to take back full control so we can properly support our communities with all the services they need, but until then we’re in this awful situation of writing letters to a Government in London and hoping they reach someone with a sense of compassion and responsibility.”