MSP condemns PO revamp

Responding to news that 2,000 rural post offices will close from next summer due to a “revamp”, SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has condemned it as “devastating”.

Post Office Ltd is to convert branches into PO Locals offering downgraded services within other commercial sites from next summer.

Paul Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for South Scotland, who lives in Ayton, is writing to Post Office Ltd and the UK Government seeking clarity on the new service.

He said: “This is extremely worrying news. Rural communities need post offices and closing them would affect the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“The previous UK Government seemed determined to run down post offices and this one is just the same.

“Post Offices deliver essential services and everything must be done to help them remain viable businesses across Scotland.

“I will be writing to Post Office Ltd and the UK Government to ask for further details on this “revamp” and to see exactly how this would impact Scotland’s communities.”

SNP Postal Affairs spokesperson Mike Weir MP, is tabling a question in Westminster on the closures.

He said: “Post offices are a lifeline for many in Scotland’s communities so it would be a devastating blow if these were to close.

“Although Post Office Ltd says it will maintain the same presence, will all the same services be available? Many of the services being withdrawn are some of the ones that people rely on their post offices for.

“The SNP is committed to helping our post offices, which is why we have our £1m post office diversification fund to help boost their businesses.

“During this tough economic time the UK Government should follow in our lead in helping our sub post masters keep their businesses going.”