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Race is on to find new Post Office homes

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Race is on to find new Post Office homes

A SCRAMBLE to find replacement services for four Dumfriesshire post offices has left the region’s politicians scratching their heads.

This week MPs and MSPs from across the chamber gave updates on their campaigns to save postal branches operating in C.J. Lang’s SPAR stores in Thornhill, Georgetown, Gretna and Eastriggs – all earmarked for closure in August and September.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has begun speaking to local groups who could potentially take over the running of the branches.

Talks are at “a very early stage” and he stressed that it should be the Post Office’s priority to find alternatives, adding: “The threat of closure has been hanging over these branches for months and the Post Office has not managed to come up with a solution. Also, it’s clear that SPAR is not going to reverse its decision to close these branches, so we need alternatives.”

Meanwhile, Dumfriesshire MP and MSP David and Oliver Mundell have met with Post Office bosses to discuss their qualms face-to-face.

Following the meeting, the Mundells said in a joint statement: “The position taken by C. J. Lang is that with pressures on their industry, they have to reflect changing consumer habits.

“That’s as may be, but local people, and in particular older people and businesses who rely on easily accessible postal services, must not be marginalised as a result.”

The pair said they have a “completely open mind” about what form the replacement services might take.

Furthermore, at Westminster David Mundell made separate representations to Post Office Minister Paul Scully in the hope of more stringent action by the Government-owned company in due course.

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