“Drip by drip” announcements over the future of post office counters in Angus have been criticised by the area’s MP.
Mike Weir has been a vocal critic of sweeping yet incremental proposals to change service delivery across the county.
He said: “I cannot believe that the number of changes now coming to Angus is a coincidence and it is deeply frustrating that Post Office Limited have adopted a ‘drip by drip’ attitude to these changes.
“This is doing absolutely nothing for their reputation.
“I have been in touch with them, even meeting senior representatives, to discuss the changes yet, within days, further changes are announced.
“They do not seem able to come clean as to whether there is an overall plan or, indeed, to take any recognition of community views prior to announcements.”
“The community in Cliffburn have a very short time in which to make their views known through the public consultation, yet I am increasingly cynical as to whether such consultations make much difference any more.”
Post Office Ltd has opened a six-week consultation period on the future of the Timmergreens outlet on Arbirlot Road.
The proposal is to close the existing office and have services provided from the neighbouring RS McColl newsagent.
This comes hard on the heels of confirmation that Westmuir Post Office, near Kirriemuir, will close its doors next month with no plans in place for future service provision in the village.
There is ongoing consultation over post office services in Monifieth while six-week consultation programmes have already closed in respect of Kirriemuir, Forfar, Edzell, and Brechin.
Angus Council leader Iain Gaul said it was a fait accompli for any branch that was singled out for change, as change would inevitably follow.
He said: “It doesn’t matter what folk say you’ll get what the Post Office are putting up and that’s it.”
Mr Weir took his criticisms to Westminster this week, where he challenged the UK Government over a “refusal to engage” on the Post Office modernisation programme.
He raised the issue during a ministerial statement on the renewal of the contract for the Post Office Card Account (POCA).
While welcoming the contract renewal, he challenged the minister’s assertion that the modernisation programme was going well and that the POCA would be a stepping stone to mainstream banking.
Mr Weir pointed out that in Angus many post offices were being moved or changed, with concerns about the loss of privacy in banking transactions.
He expressed frustration that ministers had simply “washed their hands” of the continuing difficulties with the network.
The Post Office was contacted for comment but did not reply.