Concerns that local Post Office proposals are “a done deal”

Mike Weir (left) with Andy Burrows and Eilidh McDonald.
Mike Weir (left) with Andy Burrows and Eilidh McDonald.

Local MP Mike Weir has met with representatives of Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to discuss concerns over proposed changes to local Post Office branches.

Mr Weir met with Eilidh McDonald, from CAS’s Consumer Futures Team, and Andy Burrows, head of policy for Great Britain of Consumer Futures, to discuss the process being undertaken by Post Office Limited as part of its branch transformation programme.

The company is currently conducting consultations on branches across Angus and locally has put forward proposals for the future of Forfar and Kirriemuir Post Offices.

Those for Forfar involved moving Post Office services from the current West High Street site to a convenience store on East High Street while proposals for Kirriemuir involved moving services to Thistle News and Gifts in the town centre.

Consumer Futures is the organisation which oversees the interests of consumers in the Post Office. Mr Weir has raised concerns about the process and specific concern about proposals for Angus.

After the meeting Mr Weir, who is the SNP’s postal affairs spokesman at Westminster, said it had been useful to discuss the issues surrounding the consultation.

He continued: “I have long been concerned about the way in which the process is being undertaken, especially since the UK government washed their hands of the matter despite the fact that it is taxpayers’ money that is funding it.

“We have seen in Angus several proposals that have not adequately taken into account local opinion. It seems to me that failure to take of account local opinion at an early stage is a major drawback and they need to engage local communities at the outset to both discuss and explain what is going on.

“All too often it appears that communities are being presented with a done deal rather than a true consultation.”