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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Post Office earmarks 44 closures
Stirling post office

A major programme of 44 local post office branch closures has been announced in parts of Scotland.

The Post Office wants to reduce the number of branches in Argyll and Bute by seven, Greater Glasgow by 27 and Central Scotland by 10.

There will be a six-week consultation period to give communities a chance to air their views on the closures.

Plans for post office provision for other parts of Scotland will be announced next year.

The closure list for the Highlands is expected in January, the list for the Western and Northern Isles in March, and for the north-east, Tayside and Fife in April. Other areas will be announced in June and July next year.

The consultation on the future of the first earmarked post offices will remain open for six weeks until 3 December.

The plans are part of a wider restructuring of post office services throughout the UK.

Taking the decision to close any Post Office branch is always very difficult
Sally Buchanan
Post Office Ltd

Staff at some of the post offices earmarked for closure have expressed anger at the way management have handled this week's announcement.

Post office workers told the BBC Scotland news website that they were being prevented from talking to the media about the closures.

Some also revealed that they had yet to receive any official notification of the proposals and only learned their jobs might be under threat when leaflets about the closures were delivered to branches at the weekend.

The first closures are expected to take place in February 2008 with all changes expected to be completed by the end of that year.

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There are 308 post office branches in Greater Glasgow, Central Scotland and Argyll & Bute.

The Post Office claimed that under the area plan proposals 99.9% of the population would either see no change to their nearest branch or will remain within one mile of an alternative branch.

The plan includes proposed "outreach" services in three communities in rural Stirlingshire - Buchlyvie, Thornhill and Gargunnock.

Possible types of outreach service could include a mobile service, a restricted hours service or a partner agreement within the premises of a local shop.

Post Office Ltd's Network Development Manager for Scotland, Sally Buchanan, said: "Taking the decision to close any Post Office branch is always very difficult and we know will cause concern to many of our customers.

"We want to ensure that everyone who uses, relies on or has any concern with Post Office services is both fully aware of the changes we are proposing to meet UK Government requirements, and able to give views on how accessible services will be in the future."

It is unacceptable to seek to justify the reduction in an essential service on economic efficiency grounds alone
Grahame Smith
STUC general secretary

Tricia Dow, director of consumer watchdog Postwatch Scotland, said: "We do accept there is a need for change because the network is unsustainable.

"What we are hoping to ensure is that this public consultation is meaningful.

"We are particularly concerned about this first plan and about the groups of closures in the north of Glasgow and in West Dunbartonshire which may leave an untenable network."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We recognise the valuable social role of post offices, particularly in deprived and remote areas of Scotland.

"The Scottish Government and MSPs will be looking very carefully at what is proposed to ensure that the interests of the public - particularly vulnerable groups - have been properly taken into account."

Customers at some of the post offices expected to close have also expressed anger and concern, with one woman describing her local post office in Clarkston as a "vital lifeline."

Rachel McNulty, 63, said: "I've been in this morning and signed the petition to keep our post office open and I would urge everyone else to do the same."

"I get my pension here and I pay my electricity and gas bills. This post office is our lifeline. I really don't know what we will do without it."

STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said: "The closures announced this morning are unnecessary and unwelcome.

"It is unacceptable to seek to justify the reduction in an essential service on economic efficiency grounds alone."

Branches earmarked for closure are:

    Argyll & Bute

  • East Princes Street, The Post Office, East Princes Street, Helensburgh
  • Gallowgate, Gallowgate, Rothesay
  • High Street, The Post Office, High Street, Campbeltown
  • Hillfoot Street, The Post Office, Dunoon
  • Kirn, The Post Office, Dunoon
  • Mossfield, Combie Street, Oban
  • Ralston Road, 125 -127 Ralston Road, Campbeltown
  • Greater Glasgow

  • Anderston, 76 St. Vincent Terrace, Glasgow
  • Auchenback, 60 Aurs Drive, Barrhead, Glasgow
  • Balornock, 34-36 Drumbottie Road, Glasgow
  • Bowling, 32 Dumbarton Road, Dumbarton
  • Brucehill, Brucehill Road, Dumbarton
  • Carmunnock, Clarkston, 17 Busby Road, Carmunnock, Glasgow
  • Croftfoot, 509 Castlemilk Road, Glasgow
  • Crow Road, 304 Crow Road, Glasgow
  • Drumchapel, 135 Garscadden Road, Glasgow
  • Forge St, The Post Office, Forge Street, Glasgow
  • Gilshochill, Glenavon Road, Glasgow
  • Govanhill, 328 Allison St, Govanhill, Glasgow
  • Greenbank, 29 Eaglesham Road, Clarkston, Glasgow
  • High Street, 271 High Street, Glasgow
  • Hyndland, 37 Clarence Drive, Glasgow
  • Kelvindale, Kelvindale Mini Market, 361/367 Kelvindale Road, Glasgow
  • Kingsridge, 55 Inchfad Drive, Drumchapel, Glasgow
  • Levenvale, Co-Op Store, Argyle Street, Alexandria
  • Muirend, The Post Office, 367 Clarkston Road, Glasgow
  • Newton, 107 Glasgow Road, Dumbarton
  • Nithsdale Rd, 8 Kildroston Street, Glasgow
  • Radnor Park, 379 Kilbowie Road, Clydebank
  • Red Road, 51 Red Court, Glasgow
  • Sandymount, 18 Grantlea Terrace, Glasgow
  • Springfield Rd, 98 Springfield Road, Glasgow
  • Temple, 58 Fulton Street, Glasgow
  • West End, 125-127 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
  • Central Scotland

  • Bothkennar, Main Street, Skinflats, Falkirk
  • Brightons, Quarry Brae, Brightons, Falkirk
  • Church Street, 206 King Street, Stenhousemuir, Larbert
  • Cultenhove, 104 Cultenhove Road, Stirling
  • East End, 161 Main Street, Callander
  • Forth Crescent, 36 Abbey Road, Riverside, Stirling
  • Greenhill, 2 Lea Park Drive, Bonnybridge
  • Highland Dykes, 66 Wheatlands Avenue, Bonnybridge
  • Nethermains, 4 Fleming Court, Denny
  • Thornhill Road, 192 Thornhill Road, Falkirk



SEE ALSO
The loss of a community lifeline
23 Oct 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Post offices to learn their fate
09 Oct 07 |  Tayside and Central
Swinney vows post office 'fight'
23 May 07 |  Scotland
2,500 more post offices to close
17 May 07 |  UK Politics

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