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Fears for future of Aberfeldy Post Office as shop move plans emerge

Locals say the loss of the post office would be a major blow to Aberfeldy after all the town's bank branches closed

Aberfeldy Premier convenience store with post office sign and post boxes outside.
Aberfeldy Post Office could move - or close. Image: Google Street View.

Aberfeldy locals are raising the alarm over the future of the town’s post office amid plans to close the shop where it’s currently based.

The shopkeeper who runs the service has said he wants to move it to his other premises in the town.

But it’s not clear whether he will be given permission.

And that’s led to concerns that Aberfeldy may lose its post office altogether.

The town has already seen all of its bank branches close.

Community leaders say the loss of post office banking services would be a massive blow.

The nearest alternative Post Office branch could be nine miles away from Aberfeldy, in Ballinluig.

Post Office sign
The Post Office provides vital banking services to the town

Aberfeldy Community Council chairman Victor Clements said his group was hoping to hold talks with the postmaster as soon as possible.

“Up to now people haven’t made too much of all the bank closures because the post office has always been there as a back stop,” he said.

“It’s maybe not ideal. But if it’s not there at all, it would be a problem.”

The post office counter is currently based in a convenience store on Dunkeld Street.

However, Mr Clements said his understanding was that the shopkeeper, Sujeevan Seenithamby, wants to consolidate his business in his other premises on Bank Street.

He is keen to continue the Aberfeldy post office there. But the move has yet to be agreed with Post Office bosses.

Exterior of Breadalbane Stores in Aberfeldy, where post office counter services could be moving
The post office could be on the move to Bank Street. Image: Google Street View

There have also been complaints from Aberfeldy residents about unexpected closures at the existing post office in recent months.

Post office ‘absolutely critical’ to Aberfeldy

A Post Office spokesperson said it was business as usual in Aberfeldy at present.

In a statement, they said: “We have not received a resignation from the Postmaster at Aberfeldy.

“The branch had been closed this week for a couple of days due to repair work following a recent flood at the premises during the bad weather. The branch is now open again.”

The statement went on: “The Postmaster has asked us about the possibility of him relocating the Post Office within the community and we are looking into that feasibility.

“Any move would be subject to consultation. The branch remains open at its current location for the time being.”

Perthshire Conservatives say they have written to Post Office seeking clarification on whether the move will be permitted.

Murdo Fraser MSP
Murdo Fraser MSP says Aberfeldy post office must be retained.

They say their understanding is that the shopkeeper is finding it financially difficult to keep two businesses open at the same time.

Murdo Fraser MSP said: “Understandably, there is lots of concern from local residents
about this issue.

“The nearest alternative for local residents if the post office facilities close in Aberfeldy
would be to use the one at Strathtay Post Office. But its premises are currently up for sale.

“Otherwise, they could travel to Ballinluig to use the post office there but that is nine miles away.”

Highland ward councillor John Duff said: “The retention of a Post Office in Aberfeldy is
absolutely critical to the infrastructure of the town.

“I welcome the shopkeeper’s desire to continue to operate a Post Office counter from his other shop in Bank Street.”

The Courier has approached Mr Seenithamby for comment.