Royal Mail has today confirmed its plans to close 11 Edinburgh Post Offices Including Warrender Park in Marchmont despite over 3000 people signing a petition campaigning for its survival.
The plans come as part of Royal Mails UK wide drive to shut 2500 branches.
The confirmations of the closures will be met with disappointment throughout the region. Mike Pringle, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh South who led the protests against the closure said that the decision to close Warrender Park was a “hammer blow to the community.” Mr Pringle also placed the blame for the closures on the Labour government. “I’m furious that the Royal Mail has gone ahead and shut Warrender Park Road. It just goes to show that Labour doesn’t care about people who rely on the post office, especially the elderly.”
“The students who chipped in and did so much to try to save the post office will feel betrayed by this decision.”
“Labour’s cuts to local services are ripping the heart out of communities all over the country. Let’s hope that the people of Marchmont make Labour pay at the next election.”
Royal Mails closure list was originally published in August, a six week public consultation followed in which Post Office ltd received over 3532 responses from local residents and attended more than 100 meetings including one in St Giles cathedral in Marchmont attended by over 150 residents.
Among the concerns raised by local residents in the Marchmont area was the fact that Warrender Park was the only Post Office which stays open until 7.30 pm on Saturdays providing a vital service for people who work through the week.
Sally Buchanan, Post Office Ltd’s network development manager for Scotland defended the closures and said: “These are difficult decisions which have not been taken lightly. We have considered carefully all the comments made.
“We believe the amended plan offers customers across Edinburgh, the Lothian’s and the south of Scotland the best prospect for a sustainable network in the future, bearing in mind the UK government’s minimum access criteria and the other factors it has asked us to consider.”
Former councillor Fred Mackintosh also expressed his disappointment at the closure: “Despite all our efforts, Labour has chosen to ignore the will of the people of Marchmont. This decision means residents will now have to slog all the way to Bruntsfield or Tollcross if they want to use the post office.”
“I’d like to extend my sympathy to Mr Smalley, the sub-postmaster, who made such a great contribution to the community.”
Beverley Jarret, 69, a regular user of Warrender Park said that the post office is a vital part of the local community: “it’s the most popular post office in Edinburgh and has had the biggest response of locals signing petitions against the closing of various branches in Edinburgh too”
“I’ve been using this branch since I was a student nearly 50 years ago and I still use it today- it’s a great shame if we lose this office for all generations!”
All the post offices listed to close will shut within the next three months and proposals have also been announced to close the branch at Oxgangs Broadway. A full six-week consultation on the proposal will be launched on November 4.