South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and Council Leader Elaine Murray have urged the Post Office to find an alternative home for four Post Office branches after it was confirmed they will no longer be able to operate from SPAR stores.
Thornhill, Georgetown in Dumfries, Gretna and Eastriggs post offices look set to close after SPAR confirmed those branches will no longer house the service from 12, 19, 23 August and 23 September respectively.
Writing to Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader Elaine Murray, CEO of CJ Lang and Sons, Colin McLean said after a consultation period it had been decided that it was not viable to continue to operate the Post Offices within those SPAR stores.
Colin Smyth said: “This latest news from the CEO of CJ Lang and Sons is very concerning. They have stated that after 18 months of negotiations with Post Office, it has now been confirmed that in the next couple of months Post Office services will no longer operate out of SPAR stores in Thornhill, Georgetown, Gretna and Eastriggs.
“I am now urging the Post Office to find an alternative as a matter of urgency.
“Having a Post Office in the community is vital for so many of my constituents, particularly those who are older or people who can’t travel easily.
“Sadly, right across Dumfries and Galloway we have seen closure after closure of Post Offices and complete inaction by the UK Government to keep them open.
“These latest closures would be another blow to the region, in particular the communities in Georgetown, Gretna, Eastriggs and Thornhill, and a further cut in the number of Post Offices across Dumfries and Galloway.”
Cllr Elaine Murray said: “I wrote to CJ Lang earlier this year on behalf of the council, after a motion was agreed asking them to reconsider the closure of the four Post Office branches within the SPAR stores at Thornhill, Georgetown, Eastriggs and Gretna.
“I am very disappointed that despite our representations, the decision has been made to continue with the closures. Post Offices are vitally important and this news will be a blow to the people living in these four communities.”