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Temporary Post Offices for north east Fife as hunt for permanent bases continues

Nine Spar Post Offices closed.

Temporary Post Offices have opened in four closure-hit communities in Fife.

Outreach services will operate in public buildings, ranging from a library to a village hall, until permanent bases are found.

The move follows the closure of Post Office counters in Balmullo, Ladybank, Newport-on-Tay and St Andrews Tom Morris Drive.

There will be a temporary Post Office in Newport to replace this one.
Newport Post Office closed on October 19.

But while the Post Office says it is delighted to have reopened in time for Christmas, it has yet to secure a long-term solution for the affected towns.

In the meantime, people living there have access to services for just two hours on one or two days of the week.

North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie said he expects more from the Post Office.

“It’s not as if they have been short to time to get this fixed,” he said.

“Months after the Spar decision to withdraw we seem to be no further forward with a permanent location in the four communities affected.”

Temporary solutions

It is now five months since Spar operator CJ Lang announced it would no longer operate post office counters within its stores.

And services were withdrawn from nine communities in Fife and Tayside.

As well as the four in north east Fife, branches closed in East Wemyss and Thornton.

And they were also pulled from Stanley and Luncarty in Perthshire and Menzieshill in Dundee.

The Post Office said it had worked hard with Fife Council and community groups to restore temporary solutions in north Fife.

Meanwhile, it will continue to look for permanent solutions.

Where are the temporary Post Offices and when do they operate?

Newport-on-Tay – service will operate at the church hall, Blyth Street, on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 11.30am.

Ladybank – service operates from Ladybank Library, Commercial Road, on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm and Thursdays from 10am to noon.

St Andrews Tom Morris Drive – service operating from St David’s Centre, Albany Park, on Mondays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm.

Balmullo – service operates from the village hall, Burnside, on Wednesdays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm.

Dairsie Postmaster Lynn Watson is providing the outreach services in all four locations.

And all are within a mile of the previous counters.

Customers can withdraw and deposit cash, send letters and parcels and pay bills at all four.

Bob Sharp, the Post Office Network provision lead, said he was pleased to restore services.

“We know how important a Post Office is to a community,” he said.

The Blyth Hall in Newport will host a temporary Post Office.
The Blyth Hall in Newport hosts a temporary Post Office.

“And we thank Fife Council for providing two premises and to Blyth Hall Community Centre and St David’s Centre for providing their premises for the Postmaster for Dairsie to operate while we work towards a permanent solution.

“We are delighted to have re-opened these branches in time for the busy Christmas period.”

However Liberal Democrat MSP Mr Rennie wants to see a permanent solution by Christmas.

“I want to thank Lynn Watson and her team at Dairsie Mini Mart for stepping up to provide the temporary service,” he said.

“My plea is for businesses to come forward if they are interested in running the service, which is a vital part of these communities,”

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