Edinburgh MP's call for more support for post offices after recent closures in Drum Brae and Blackhall

‘UK Government must make it more attractive for shopkeepers to take on post office role’
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The UK Government must invest more in post offices and make it more attractive for local shopkeepers to take on post office services, says Edinburgh West Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine.

She voiced concern about the recent loss of two post offices in her constituency – at Duart Crescent, Drum Brae, and Craigcrook Road, Blackhall. And she said in the last year there had also been changes to post office services in Ratho, Corstorphine and Saughton Mains.

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Ms Jardine has secured a Commons debate on Monday about post office services in Edinburgh West and will use the opportunity to call for improved pay for hard-working sub-postmasters and postmistresses to reflect the vital work they do.

Recent post office closures include Craigcrook Road, Blackhall (top) and Duart Crescent, Drum Brae.Recent post office closures include Craigcrook Road, Blackhall (top) and Duart Crescent, Drum Brae.
Recent post office closures include Craigcrook Road, Blackhall (top) and Duart Crescent, Drum Brae.

She said: “Many post offices have become lifelines for elderly, isolated and vulnerable customers, as they have replaced the counter services of many bank branches that have closed in towns and cities. For customers without access to the internet, post offices have also become more and more important, with an increasing reliance on online services for banking or paying bills.

“I will be calling on the government to invest in the future of post office services to stop future closures in Edinburgh West and prevent more of my constituents being cut off.”

She said the Post Office had losses of £597 million last year and the number of post offices in Scotland had fallen by 6.4 per cent. “The government needs to invest in the service and make it worthwhile for people to become postmasters and be able to make a living at it. People I've spoken to at post offices that have closed have said it just wasn't viable any more, it wasn’t worth their while to have the post office, and that seems to be the nub of the problem.”

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She said essential services were being lost from communities. “We were told post offices were going to be the front desk of government services in communities, but it's not working out that way – they're closing. When banks were rationalising their branches, one of the arguments put forward was tat post offices would be able to take deposits from businesses and so on, but that's not happening either because post offices are closing.”

She said Blackhall now had no bank and no post office. And DVLA services are being withdrawn from post offices from March next year. "The government needs to look seriously at this and find a way of investing more in support for post offices and making it worth shop owners' while to become a postmaster. It is a vital service that is being lot to communities.”