Compromise saves post office for Morningside

The Post Office on 265 Morningside Road will move.
The Post Office on 265 Morningside Road will move.
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Residents have welcomed a compromise solution which will keep a post office in Morningside.

An announcement last year that Morningside Post Office at 265 Morningside Road was one of 37 Crown post offices across the UK which were to be “franchised” led to fears the area could lose the service altogether.

And Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray presented a 5,000-signature petition to the House of Commons to save the branch from closure.

Now the Post Office has proposed merging Morningside and Bruntsfield post offices in new premises at a former school uniform shop, 28-30 Morningside Road, to be run by the current Bruntsfield postmaster, Ibrahim Joulak.

Steve Gregory, secretary of Morningside Community Council, said: Personally, I don’t like it – but it’s better than it could have been. At least we’re keeping a post office in the area.

“My preference would have been for it to stay where it was. This is a compromise, but it’s better than having no post office in Morningside at all.”

And Marianna Clyde, vice-chair of Merchiston community council which covers the area around Holy Corner, said the current Bruntsfield post office was very small and a move to larger premises would be a benefit. “Ibrahim provides a very good service, but it’s a tiny shop. The new place would be much bigger,” she said.

“People who are older can use buses and have a bus pass. It may be further but it’s not necessarily more difficult to get to because there is a bus stop right outside the door. They say it will be wheelchair accessible so people with wheelchairs or buggies will be able to get in.”

Mr Joulak said he really cared about the local community, which he has served for many years. “The Post Office have been supportive but it was simply not economically viable to provide the service in the current premises. The new premises will be state of the art and I am committed to providing the best post office services for the community in a convenient location that endures for many years to come.”

Mr Murray said he had long opposed the UK government’s franchising programme. “I believe it leads to branch closures, job losses and a reduction in services for communities.”

He said the current Morningside Post Office was always busy and conveniently located at the heart of the community. “Whilst I welcome the new provider taking this on, and I am confident he will provide a superb service for the community, there will be concerns from some.”

And he urged people to take part in a public consultation on the plan which runs until November 14.

Edinburgh Southern MSP Daniel Johnson said the campaign to save the post office had shown how important it was for residents and businesses.

The new branch is planned to open in February next year.