Post office bosses are under growing pressure to take control of a branch closure “meltdown” in Perthshire.
Communities are reeling from the sudden or imminent shutdown of four counters across the region.
Perth’s Craigie outlet has closed for the second time in 12 months, with no indication of when it will re-open.
“Temporary closure” notices have appeared in the window of the Abbot Street shop, which has also shut without warning.
It comes just days after the office at Scone was taken out of action for staff training, following a spate of customer complaints. Again, Post Office officials cannot say when it will start up again.
There is concern about the Letham service which has closed, pending a move to a new site at Jeanfield Road and talks are ongoing to retain the service at Blairgowrie after a deal to relocate it to the town’s PriceKracker store collapsed.
Local Liberal Democrat councillors have written to Post Office chiefs calling for crunch talks to avoid a worsening crisis.
Perth South councillor Willie Wilson said: “We urgently need a meeting with senior management in the Post Office.
“The situation has now got to meltdown where virtually every office is closed, either temporarily or otherwise, and the strain of pressure is very much on those Post Offices that remain open.
“From personal experience, I know that the staff in McColl’s shop in Oakbank are working extremely hard to cope with the extra demand that the closure of both Letham and Craigie has created.”
Strathmore councillor Lewis Simpson, who retired as postmaster at Scone last year, said: “As a former postmaster I am particularly disappointed that Post Office Ltd has allowed this situation to arise, despite being fully aware of customer service issues.
“Unfortunately, Post Office Ltd seem not to have provided adequate training or support to new operators.”
Perth City Centre councillor Pete Barrett, added: “The Post Office seems incapable of maintaining a resilient service which meets the needs of local communities.
“We have heard all the platitudes about resolving difficulties in Perth before, but the Post Office just lurch from crisis to crisis.
“Local residents and businesses are having to endure extended interruption to service which is simply not good enough.”
A Post Office spokesman said that “power supply issues” were responsible for the closure at Craigie. “We are working hard to restore services in the area as soon as possible and in the meantime customers can access Post Office services at any branch including Perth High Street and Oakbank Road.”