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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
The loss of a community lifeline
Laura Pettigrew
BBC Scotland news website

The Greenbank Post Office on Eaglesham Road in Clarkston is among 44 branches set to close across Greater Glasgow, Central Scotland and Argyll and Bute.

It is part of a larger R S McColl newsagents store and from the outside you would be hard pushed to spot there is a Post Office hidden in the back.

Greenbank Post Office, Clarkston
Customers in Clarkston said the closure would hit the elderly hardest

But customers say it is a vital 'lifeline'.

A place where they can collect their pensions and benefits, pay their bills, post letters and even have a catch up with friends and neighbours.

Those using the post office on Tuesday morning said they were shocked to hear it had been earmarked for closure.

They certainly didn't need to be persuaded to sign a petition aimed at the saving the branch.

In fact most pushed their letters and bills aside, eager to add their name to the growing list, even if that meant waiting a little bit longer to get their business done.

Rachel McNulty, 63, said she uses the post office two or three times a week.

She said: "This is our lifeline. I don't know what we will do without it.

Subpostmaster's can take a full part in the consultation of the Post Office closures and are free to discuss their own personal business details if they so wish
Post Office Ltd

"There is another post office in Clarkston but I would have to get a taxi there and back which would cost around 7."

Rachel said that the closure of the post office would hit Clarkston's large older population hardest.

And that was a view echoed by Raymond Baldock, 66, who said he was extremely worried about how older people would access their pensions.

He said: "It's ridiculous that they are talking about closing this post office.

"I'm alright because I can go to the other one on the Main Street.

"But it will probably be next for the axe and then there will be a lot of elderly people wandering the streets wondering where they can collect their pensions."

Joyce Manson, 82, said she was "very angry" at the proposed closure.

She said: "I've been coming here for 50 years. It's very convenient and the staff are very helpful.

"They have already closed the post office in Busby and this will just make things harder for people."

The tiny post office in Clarkston has just three members of staff.

Petition
Customers have been signing a petition against the closure

They said they did not know anything about the closure until a box of leaflets outlining the post office's proposals was delivered on Saturday.

They said they were horrified by the news and are now extremely worried about their jobs.

The post office claimed that under the plans 99.9% of the population would either see no change to their nearest branch or will remain within one mile of an alternative branch.

Responding to the suggestion that staff had been ordered not to speak to the media a Post Office Ltd spokeswoman said: "Subpostmaster's can take a full part in the consultation of the post office closures and are free to discuss their own personal business details if they so wish.

"We have a confidentiality agreement to simply enable us to use commercially sensitive information about the branch to give a detailed and specific estimate of the amount of compensation he or she will be due.

"If any subpostmaster has concerns, we would urge them to contact us so we can make the position clear."

SEE ALSO
Post Office earmarks 44 closures
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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