COMMUNITIES across a wide area are in danger of being left without Post Office services, according to Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell and constituency MSP Oliver Mundell, after closures were announced in Gretna, Thornhill and Georgetown.
The issue has emerged following the decision of the SPAR convenience store chain to withdraw from providing Post Office services.
The local MP and MSP are calling on the Post Office to guarantee a local network of branches will be maintained and to ensure services continue to be provided within the affected communities.
Both representatives are also asking anybody interested in hosting the Post Office in the areas facing closure to come forward.
David Mundell said: “I have written to SPAR, but I am not hopeful that they will change their mind at any of the locations.
"Post Office services don’t seem to be part of their business model anywhere now.
"I have also raised the issue with Paul Scully, MP, the Minister responsible for Post Offices, to highlight how disruptive one retail chain changing it’s policy has been on post office services in this area and seek a guarantee that the Post Office will ensure that services continue to be provided in our local communities.
"We can’t have a large swathe of the local Post Office Network close overnight when more than ever local people are relying on the services they provide and particularly the need to access to cash, which I have highlighted in Parliament on numerous occasions.”
Oliver Mundell said: “We are working closely with local communities to try to identify solutions, but that is very reliant on somebody coming forward who is willing to host the Post Office and that clearly doesn’t work for every business.
"However, what we would say to anyone interested in doing so is that we will work with you and the Post Office to try to find an arrangement that works for you and the community.
"In the meantime, it is incumbent on the Post Office to continue to deliver services in the affected communities until a permanent solution is found. After all, it was they who so strongly advocated putting Post Offices into convenience stores."