Blair Post Office set to move
Wellmeadow base to close in 2018
Local residents have been left disappointed by the news that Blairgowrie’s Post Office is to move from its Wellmeadow base early next year.
The news came to light last week when some members of staff at the Wellmeadow Co-op, where the Post Office is based, were reportedly advised that they were to be made redundant.
The Co-op’s lease on the busy Wellmeadow store is understood to be due to expire in February, and the company says that it is “currently in talks with the landlord”.
When contacted by the Blairie, a spokesperson for the Co-op refused to be drawn on the prospect of any redundancies at this stage.
However, in a statement, a spokesperson for the Post Office confirmed that the Co-op would no longer be operating Post Office services from the Wellmeadow shop.
The statement read: “We can confirm that the operator of our Blairgowrie Post Office branch, the Co-operative Group Ltd, has given us notice that they no longer wish to provide Post Office services from their store located in the Wellmeadow.
“Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a Post Office service in Blairgowrie and will work hard to ensure this.
“Any future proposal to provide Post Office services in the area will be subject to a six-week public consultation.”
The Blairie understands that the public consultation is likely to get under way in the new year and that the Post Office is in discussions with a potential new operator based in a newsagents on Perth Street.
In the meantime customers have been left concerned that any move will mean a reduction in the services offered by the Post Office and that they will
have to travel to Perth or Dundee to access some services currently provided in Blairgowrie.
One member of the public commented: “I use the Post Office regularly for parcels and other services such as holiday money and it is vital for a community the size of Blairgowrie and Rattray to have a Post Office.
“It is always busy, especially during the summer when workers on the berry farms use the financial services it offers for example, and in the run-up to Christmas when crafters in the area rely on it to deliver their goods to customers.
“Any new premises would need to offer the same level of service, confidentiality, security and accessibility that the current set-up does, otherwise I would not feel comfortable using it.”
And another local resident told the Blairie: “Blairgowrie is the biggest town in Perthshire and there are plans for hundreds more houses here so it’s only going to get bigger.
“The town needs and deserves to have a Post Office that is fit for purpose.
“The existing staff have an amazing knowledge of the products and services they offer. Have the people that have made this decision to relocate actually been to the shop to see how busy it is? Do they really expect people to stand and wait outside the new premises?”
Councillor Caroline Shiers commented: “I am pleased that the Post Office will remain in the town but want to ensure that their new location is as accessible as possible for regular users of the Post Office services.
“There is so much concern over closure of banking facilities in rural areas that the Post Office is rapidly becoming an even more important facility for many people as it enables them to carry out financial transactions, as well as the more conventional Post Office activities.”
Councillor Tom McEwan added: “The services provided to the community by our local Post Office are invaluable and a life-line to some.
“It is important that Post Office services remain in the town and that those services are easily accesible where there is adequate parking and in a building that can cope with the large demand our community places on these services.”
Service The current Post Office in the Co-operative store in the Wellmeadow
Local post The Co-operative store and Post Office in the Wellmeadow