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Post Office closures in Perthshire and Dundee to be ‘felt acutely’ by communities

Post Office
Luncarty Post Office.

The closure of Post Offices in Perthshire and Dundee has been branded shocking and short-sighted.

The decision by Spar Scotland will affect communities in Stanley, Luncarty and Menzieshill leaving residents without a service.

Spar has announced it is closing  Post Office counters at nine of its convenience stores in Tayside and Fife in the next year.

Post Office closures

A number of Fife politicians have already spoken of their bitter disappointment at the news, claiming Spar “couldn’t care less” about communities.

Now, Perthshire and Dundee politicians have added to the mounting concerns.

Perth and Kinross Council’s SNP group leader Grant Laing, who represents Strathtay, said: “I am shocked by this and it is a commercial decision by Spar.

“The number of houses that are being built between them – they need Post Offices.

“They are growing areas and not everyone works by the internet.

“I can only see this getting worse in the future.”

Strathtay Conservative councillor Anne Jarvis said closures would affect both individuals and banks who use the services.

She said: “People use the Post Office for things like accessing money.

“Luncarty has no alternative to the Post Office in the Spar.

“For Stanley, it will be left to the community to come up with other arrangements.

“They have just abandoned the community.”

‘Kick in the teeth’ for communities

Councillor Charlie Malone has previously fought to keep the Post Office in Menzieshill Spar open.

He called the announcement a “kick in the teeth” for the local community.

He said: “When the Post Office at the Spar came back the first time saying they had reversed the decision to close, everyone was really hopeful.

“So I think, once again, it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth for the local community – especially when there had been high hopes for it being retained.

Councillor Charlie Malone at Menzieshill.

“It’s part of a wider thing that’s happening throughout commerce. You see it with the banks in Lochee as well.

“But when it comes to a commercial decision, the first thing it turns it back on is the community.

“So I think the disappointment has been felt even greater now, than it was the first time round.”

‘Lifeline’

The announcement has also sent shockwaves among Perthshire MSPs, who believe communities will bear the brunt of the decision.

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, who represents Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “This decision by Spar to close its Post Office counters in Stanley and Luncarty seems very short-sighted and it will have a huge impact on the local communities there.

“Post Office facilities are the lifeline of small communities and this decision will mean many local residents, particularly elderly ones, will be without postal services, which I find very concerning.

“I will be contacting the Post Office to see if alternative postal services can be opened in Stanley and Luncarty.”

EXCLUSIVE: Spar to axe 9 Post Offices counters in Tayside and Fife

SNP MSP John Swinney said he will continue to fight for the Post Offices in the areas.

He said: “The loss of two Post Office branches is deeply disappointing news, and will be felt acutely by the affected local communities.

“The closure of the Luncarty Post Office will prove particularly problematic, with no obvious alternative location within the village.

“Having previously engaged with CJ Lang regarding the decision to close the Luncarty branch, I was hopeful that the concerns of the community had been taken on-board and that management would re-consider their position.

“I will now look to meet with CJ Lang to better understand the thought process behind this move and to advocate for the continuation of these vital local services.”

A Spar spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that we find ourselves in the position of having to change the services we offer over the next six months.

“This is representative of the industry-wide pressures on retail outlets as we evolve to keep up with changing consumer habits.”

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