Calls for Drum Brae post office to be reopened

Sub-postmaster Asif Kirmani of Drumbrae post office. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Sub-postmaster Asif Kirmani of Drumbrae post office. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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COMMUNITY leaders are calling for the immediate reopening of a sub-post office after it was shut down without warning.

Post Office bosses ordered the temporary closure of Drum Brae post office in Duart Crescent nearly three weeks ago.

I don’t think whoever made the decision realised we’re on top of one of the biggest hills in Edinburgh.

Kenny Wright

But sub-postmaster Asif Kirmani says he has been given no reason for the move and he is angry that the community is being denied a vital service.

Kenny Wright, chair of Drumbrae community council, said he planned to call a public meeting to reflect residents’ concerns about the move.

He said: “We’re actively campaigning to get the post office reopened. We’ve lost a service here. There are a fair few elderly and infirm people in the area and the alternatives of Barnton and Corstorphine are difficult. I don’t think whoever made the decision realised we’re on top of one of the biggest hills in Edinburgh.

“I intend to arrange a public meeting and invite someone from the Post Office to come along and explain themselves.”

Mr Kirmani, who has run the post office for the past 18 months, alongside his newsagents shop, Caledonian News, described how on May 5 someone arrived from head office.

He said: “I thought it was just the usual check-up. But after a while he rang head office, handed the phone to me and the guy told me, ‘We’re deciding to close this branch down until further notice’. And that was it.”

He said they had said nothing to suggest there was anything untoward about his running of the post office. “They didn’t give me any warning or any reason. The way they did it is not acceptable.”

Mr Kirmani says he will fight to keep the post office open because it is such a vital service for the community.

“This is a hub. It’s not just where people pick up their pensions or benefits, it’s a community point.”

Karen Keil, Labour councillor for Drum Brae/Gyle, said the post office should be reopened without delay.

“It’s a huge inconvenience for the area and hits those least able to cope with it,” she said.

“Within the last few years they closed the post office in East Craigs and told people they could go to Duart Crescent and they close the one in Parkgrove Street and said people could go to Duart Crescent.

“They also had a big consultation about possible moving the Drum Brae post office to Scotmid and did nothing, but have now closed it down without any consultation at all.”

Edinburgh West MP Michelle Thomson said she had been in discussion with both Mr Kirmani and the Post Office.

“I remain concerned that residents are still without post office services in their local area and are being forced to travel to Barnton and Corstorphine, something which poses a particular challenge for those not able to access public transport,” she said.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Duart Crescent Post Office. This is due to operational reasons.

“We are working hard to restore services to the area as soon as possible.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com