Calls to support Post Office network after another Fife branch closes
The Carleton Post Office based in the Spar store in Woodside closed on January 30 – the latest in a series of recent Post Office closures, which includes Pitteuchar, Cadham, Markinch and Leslie.
The Chief Executive of CJ Lang, who operate the Bighty Avenue Spar, explained they were withdrawing post office services to concentrate on their core business and no redundancies would be made.
Post Office services have now returned to Cadham in a new home – Hammy’s Convenience Store. The town’s MSP was able to assist the store’s owners as they engaged with the Post Office through a protracted application process.
However, there have been no expressions of interest to bring post office services back permanently to Pitteuchar, Markinch or Leslie. A weekly mobile post office service visits Leslie and it is hoped a Markinch visit can begin soon.
Responding to the latest local Post Office closure, Jenny Gilruth MSP called for more support and funding for the network.
She said: “The withdrawal of vital post office services in Woodside is a blow for the local community. I’ve been in touch with the Post Office directly to press them on their plans to restore services to the area. It is clear that the current approach is no longer working for our local communities.
“In November, the Post Office welcomed the outcome of the Tory Westminster Government’s spending review, which included a £50 million subsidy and £177 million for them to invest in the network.
" It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that this funding is not reaching our local communities and has fallen far short of the support needed for new and existing postmasters to take on and retain the franchise.
“A lack of political leadership from the Tories in Westminster on this issue, like so many others, means that thousands of my constituents in Mid Fife and Glenrothes are losing access to essential services during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s time for the Tory government to work with Post Office Limited’s management to refocus their business model and properly fund local post office services.”