East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, has today written to the Post Office to express her concerns and to provide assistance in finding an alternative retailer, following the announcement of the closure of the local town centre branch in Milngavie.
In the letter, the local MP requested an urgent meeting to discuss plans to ensure Milngavie residents continued to have “access to adequate local post office facilities”. Ms Callaghan said it was clear post office facilities in the surrounding area were not “easily accessible” for all residents.
The announced closure follows the resignation of the current postmaster, and the Post Office has indicated that a local retailer is interested in taking on the service. Meanwhile, residents are left without a local post office facility.
Ms Callaghan has previously been outspoken on local closures, calling on the UK government to properly fund the Post Office to provide long-term security for postal services in East Dunbartonshire.
When Virgin Money closed its Milngavie branch, bank bosses were keen to stress the availability of day-to-day banking through the Post Office. At the time, Ms Callaghan called for additional funding for the local post office if it was “expected to step in where the bank has turned its back” in providing access to cash and other bank services for residents.
Scotland has suffered the highest rate of post office closures across the UK, with almost forty branches closing their doors in the last two years.
Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said: “Post offices are vital community services and it’s deeply disappointing to see another branch close its doors. It’s not just traditional postal services, but many residents rely on the Post Office for day-to-day banking.
“I’ve had lots of people get in touch who are really concerned about the impact this will have on their lives.
“That’s why I’ve written to Post Office chiefs to request an urgent meeting to look at the next steps. It is completely unacceptable for my constituents to be left without these vital services, particularly when we’ve had banks closing local branches and telling people that they could still access banking services at the Post Office.
“This is precisely why I called for additional funding for the Post Office at the time.
“There is potentially a route forward with the interest from a local retailer to take on the Post Office service, and I want to find out more about these plans so I can go back to the community with something concrete.
“People in Milngavie must have access to these vital services.”