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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 15:49 GMT
Rural post office hopes retained
Post office
The majority of people will be within three miles of an office
The number of post office closures in the Borders might not be as high as feared, according to a spokesman for sub-postmasters in the region.

It has been announced that about 2,500 branches are to close across the UK in an attempt to make the network viable.

Sub-postmasters' spokesman Mervyn Jones, of Hawick, said the Borders could yet escape the worst cuts.

He said plans to ensure most people were no more than three miles from an office could be in Scotland's favour.

"Any post office closures are deeply disappointing," said Mr Jones.

It is not necessarily a done deal that there are going to be post office closures in the Borders - we need to wait and see
Mervyn Jones
Federation of Sub-Postmasters

"And a 2,500 reduction in the network will definitely have a negative impact on the service provision in certain areas."

However, he said proposals to invest 1.7bn in the network might address some of the problems.

"We need to be clear exactly how that money is going to be invested," he said.

Closure criteria

The secretary of the South of Scotland Federation of Sub-Postmasters said there were some signs of hope for north of the border.

"The government has made it clear that they are looking to achieve a figure of 99% of the population living within three miles of a post office," said Mr Jones.

"Scotland as a whole does not currently meet that criteria so it is possible that the number of closures in Scotland may be less than the national average.

"So it is not necessarily a done deal that there are going to be post office closures in the Borders - we need to wait and see."


SEE ALSO
Call for rural post office probe
14 Dec 06 |  Scotland

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