A troubled village post office service has been put up for sale, sparking concerns for its future.
The counter at Scone, which closed suddenly earlier this year after complaints from customers, is being offered for sale on website Gumtree with a £130,000 asking price.
The move has come as a surprise to locals, who have been deserting the service in droves.
But manager Bash Naeem has insisted he has only put the shop and post office on the market “to keep his options open”.
“I might not even sell,” he said. “We have had the service for a long time now and we want it to continue.”
Mr Naeem said the post office – which partially re-opened in May – will return to full opening hours in the coming weeks.
Local Liberal Democrat councillor Lewis Simpson, who resigned as the village postmaster last year, said: “There has been a lot of concern about this service since the new owners took over.
“These problems have been allowed to drag on for far too long and I believe the blame is on the Post Office rather than the operators. It is up to the Post Office to ensure that Scone has a reliable service.”
He said that before the shop changed hands, it was thriving. “Now it seems to be a very quiet shop,” he said. “A lot of people are being forced to do their post office business in Perth, which isn’t at all convenient.”
According to the advert on Gumtree, the shop and post office makes £7,000 in sales each week.
It states: “Sales dropped due to an issue with the post office, which has now been resolved.”
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A Post Office Ltd spokesman said any new owner would have to apply to take on the service.
“The branch is currently temporary managed and we remain committed to providing services in the area,” he said. “The branch will continue to be temporary managed until if or when the operators’ circumstances change.”
Meanwhile, the Crieff branch – which closed in May last year – will re-open at its new premises on Thursday, November 8.
The counter has been set up at Right Medicine Pharmacy on the High Street, just a few doors along from the previous office.