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Post Office hours cut plan backlash

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By Amanda Kennedy
Annan and Eskdale
Post Office hours cut plan backlash

THE LOSS of Wednesday Post Office services in Ecclefechan has struck a blow with some residents.

Andrew MacDonald, the franchise-holder for postal services in the village, has decided to axe midweek services.

Explaining his reasons, he said: “It comes down to a fall in customer base. The bottom line is it’s not being used.

“It’s quite an expensive site to run and it’s not worth it for one customer in the space of four hours.”

A six-week consultation process was put in place, ending this week.

The consultation letter, which was sent out to some locals and groups and available online, said: “The Post Office is proposing to reduce the opening hours of Ecclefechan Post Office.

“The Post Office is now inviting customers and interested parties to give their comments on the move in a six-week public consultation.

“Should the move go ahead the branch would open between 10 am to 1 pm; Monday and Tuesday and 11.30 am to 2.30 pm on Thursday. This represents a reduction of four hours a week.

“In order to provide a sustainable service to our customers, it is important that the service is feasible for our operator.”

Post Office manager Karen Bragg added: “We believe that the change of opening hours presents the best possible solution to allow us to maintain Post Office services in Ecclefechan in the longer term.

“Our priority is to safeguard Post Office services to the local community and we are confident that the new opening hours will adequately meet the needs of the community and will ensure the service is sustainable into the future.”

The result of the consultation will be revealed in the near future.

However, retired minister Rev John Higgins, who lives in the village, has hit out at the consultation process saying there was no attempt to formally notify the public at large, or engage in any kind of ‘meaningful’ consultation.


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