Council officials called in after complaints
Residents in Halfway have hit out at a “lack of privacy” at the new Gilbertfield Post Office.
Officials f rom South Lanarkshire visited the facility after complaints from Halfway Community Council.
They also said it is situated too near an alchohol display in the convenience store.
Planning and licensing officials have been called in to Gilbertfield Post Office after locals complained the shop is cramped, lacks privacy and has alcohol too near the counter.
South Lanarkshire Council confirmed staff made a visit to the post office on Hamilton Road last week after it received complaints about the new layout.
Halfway Community Council had urged the local authority to look into the facility – located in The Convenience Store – after a rejig of the shop saw the post office counter moved to the till area.
Situated next to an alcohol display at the Halfway Value Convenience Store, the community council said it was unsuitable for children using post office services.
Jackie Rinn, secretary of Halfway Community Council, said the group’s complaint was threefold.
She said: “I approached the shop and said as a community council we are objecting to the layout.
“They are breaking the licensing laws because of the drink display. It’s not suitable for people with a disability or those in a wheelchair and it’s not good for privacy.”
Ms Rinn argued that customers can overhear conversations about finances with post office staff in the shop and that they can see people making cash withdrawals.
Councillor Walter Brogan said: “I know the licensing officers spoke to the owners to assist them in any way they can and we should hear what changes or recommendations will be made, if any, in the next week.”
Geraldine McCann, head of administration and legal services at South Lanarkshire Council, said the planning department was unable to address access concerns of existing buildings. But she added: “Any concerns reported to the licensing board are investigated and if necessary brought before the board to decide what action, if any, should be taken.”
A spokeswoman for the Post Office said: “With all branch modernisations we invite customer feedback afterwards and will discuss any comments with the operator, including any received from the community council. We also check that access requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act are being met.
“In this branch it was not possible to install a low- level counter so we have installed a flexible pin pad – on an extendable lead – for use by customers in wheelchairs.
“In terms of the open plan counter, this is how the local model operates but we make every effort to respect people’s privacy during transactions.”
People questioned the way alcohol was displayed
Cramped Post Office on Hamilton Road