Shop bosses at the heart of fears over the possible loss of a “lifeline” Post Office service have refused to rule out closing it.
Old Aberdeen Post Office, which is located in the Spar store on St Machar Drive, has provided a vital service to residents since the local TSB branch closed last year.
Post Office chiefs say they have no intention of closing the counter and insisted it is “open as normal”.
However, concerns have been raised in the community that C. J. Lang, which operates Spar’s stores in Scotland, is on the verge of ending its agreement to accommodate Post Office branches.
Firm non-committal on plans
The chain is working on “planned changes to services” at some of its stores, which includes the future of Post Office counters within them.
However, when we asked what the changes would involve, the company declined to give any further detail.
A spokeswoman said: “With regards to the planned changes to the services offered at a number of Spar stores across Scotland, we are working with Post Office Limited to discuss options that continue to provide facilities in the local areas affected.
“While these conversations take place, the Post Office counters in a number of outlets will stay open in the store to serve our customers.
“We remain committed to the communities we serve and keeping as many stores open as we can to continue to provide goods locally to our shoppers, especially during such challenging times.”
Carer’s petition wins support
Fiona Campbell, who works for a care company which looks after several elderly and vulnerable people in the Seaton area, said the loss of the Post Office would directly impact the health of local residents.
She distributed a petition around blocks of flats in the community, gathering hundreds of signatures in opposition to the possible closure and winning the support of Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman.
“There are a lot of elderly and vulnerable people in Seaton,” Ms Campbell, who described the Post Office as a “lifeline”, said.
“My company is all about enablement – getting them out on their feet is better for their health.
“If the Post Office closes it’s one less thing they will be able to do for themselves.
“A lot of them rely on it for paying their bills, for posting cards and doing their banking.
“If it closes it means another vital service will have been taken away.”
If it goes ahead Old Aberdeen would be the second Post Office closure in recent weeks, after it was revealed the branch on Castle Street would shut its doors.
Closure would leave community with ‘no alternative’
Dewi Morgan, chairman of Old Aberdeen Community Council, said bosses were failing in their “public service” to the community.
“We are very concerned as there are no accessible alternatives,” he said.
“There is no other Post Office which is accessible to the Seaton area by bus unless you go into town.
“Anyone without a car would have a real problem.
“It’s going to leave the community without a Post Office anywhere nearby.
“If it goes ahead, Spar and C. J. Lang will not be fulfilling their public service as a local shop.”
Tillydrone, Seaton and Old Aberdeen councillor Alex McLellan said: “The uncertainty is concerning for many residents who rely on these facilities in the local area.
“They need to come clean and tell us what their plans are in the long term, because this could have a massive impact on the community.”