South Scotland

Sanquhar post office 'closure threat' claims by MSP

Sanquhar Post Office
Image caption Ms McAlpine said that if Sanquhar was to close it would mean a post office in Sweden would become the oldest operating site in the world

An MSP has claimed changes proposed by the Royal Mail could see the closure of the oldest working post office in the world in southern Scotland.

The Sanquhar site celebrated its 300th anniversary last year.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said plans to move mail services from the office would make closure "inevitable".

Royal Mail spokeswoman Felicity MacFarlane said it had concerns about working conditions in the mail office which it was working to resolve.

South of Scotland MSP Ms McAlpine said that if the office was to close it would mean a post office in Stockholm would become the oldest working facility in the world.

She has written to the Royal Mail asking it to recognise Sanquhar's special status.

"Removing mail work from Sanquhar would result in a loss of a third of the post office income and mean closure was inevitable," she said.

"This would be a dreadful blow for Sanquhar, a beautiful and ancient Royal Burgh which has suffered in recent years from the scourge of unemployment.

"The post office is an important facility for the townspeople and a source of employment, as well as a tourist attraction bringing welcome visitors."

Ms MacFarlane said Royal Mail intended to tackle concerns about the suitability of the site.

"Royal Mail has concerns about the working conditions for our four members of staff working in the mail office at Sanquhar Post Office branch," she said.

"We are working closely with Post Office Limited to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

"In the meantime, Royal Mail services at Sanquhar Post Office branch will continue as normal."

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