EFFORTS to help secure a reprieve for four Dumfriesshire Post Offices earmarked for closure were welcomed last night by Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell.
It has been revealed that 'positive' talks are going on between Post Office bosses and the firm hosting the current in-shop services.
The local MP had earlier condemned plans to shut Post Office counter services at SPAR stores in Thornhill, Eastriggs, Gretna and Georgetown.
Mr Mundell, who was contacted by numerous constituents, took the issue up with Post Office bosses; the shop proprietors Dundee-based C. J. Lang and UK Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng.
He also held a virtual meeting on Wednesday with Post Office external relations manager Mark Gibson, strategic partnerships director Emma Conroy and Calum Greenhow, chief executive of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters.
Mr Mundell stressed the anger and disruption caused by the potential loss of the service in each of the communities also pointing out neighbouring Gretna and Eastriggs both served broadly similar wide rural areas.
The former Scottish Secretary said: "The possible closure of all these post offices at short notice came as a hammer-blow to their communities and caused a great deal of upset.
"It was particularly concerning that this decision was being taken at the height of an international pandemic, when people for very valid reasons, are being discouraged from travelling, particularly on public transport."
Last night Mr Mundell stated he was greatly encouraged by his latest meetings with Post Office officials when the mood had been very positive.
He said: "It looks like the branches could receive a reprieve for three to four months hopefully allowing for an agreement to be reached for re-styled Post Office services to be retained in the shops for the long-term.
"In the worst case scenario the extension would, at least, provide more time to attempt to find an alternative location for the Post Office in each of the communities."