Blair Post Of­fice set to move

Wellmeadow base to close in 2018

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Clare Damodaran

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

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