Post Office to ask residents where they want Post Office located

Months after the news that the current postmaster in Whithorn was planning to retire there is still no official word on relocation.

The Royal Burgh of Whithorn and District Community Council had applied to take over the running of the Post Office to retain it in a not-for-profit organisation, but their application hasn’t been successful.

Plans to move the service into either the library or the Whithorn Trust building didn’t get off the ground because neither venue is commercial enough and the opening hours do not suit post office requirements.

The public are now to be asked where they would like their post office to go.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “The postmaster at Whithorn has expressed an interest in leaving.

“Consequently, we are currently assessing the interest locally in running the Post Office in this area. Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a service to local customers. If this change involves a relocation of the Post Office, it would be subject to a full public consultation and we will work hard to minimise any inconvenience to our customers during the transition.”

The Post Office building in the town’s George Street was put on the market last summer.

At the time there was concern in Whithorn as it followed the news that the Royal Bank of Scotland was closing the only bank in the town and replacing it with a mobile branch and an arrangement for banking to be done over the post office counter. This service proved invaluable to customers during the bad weather two weeks ago when the RBS mobile bank did not travel to the town.

Last autumn the community council lodged a community bid, under the auspices of the new All Roads Lead to Whithorn charitable trust, to run the Post Office.

Local businessman and treasurer of the community council, Bhupendra Amin, abandoned his commercial bid, in order to assist the community bid. The October community council minutes recorded “widespread concern that the proposals to run a Post Office in a convenience store would not allow the degree of confidentiality or possess the public service ethos which the public expected, and that therefore it would be preferable for the Post Office to be relocated into a public building and be run on not-for-profit lines by a community development trust”.