MP hits out over Post Office changes

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Further changes to post office provision are afoot in Cumbernauld after mail bosses admitted that a consultation process is to get underway about the future of a key branch.

The designated post office counter at Balloch’s sub-post office looks set to be scrapped and replaced with service at the shop’s till, in a move which will see a temporary closure of the facility in January for an as-yet undisclosed period.

The situation arose when the exisiting postmaster announced their retiral.

The Post Office claims that the change is a ‘‘modernisation’’ and will offer a handy round-the-clock service but already the proposals have been lambasted by MP Gregg McClymont.

The Labour man said:“The result will be longer queues, fewer options and a diminished public service.

“ Indeed, services like international parcel delivery, Transcash,travel insurance and cheque payments are to be scrapped in the plans for a ‘modernised’ post office in Balloch.

“Not content with trying to sell off Cumbernauld Town Centre post 0ffice to the highest bidder, local people now find out that Balloch’s post office is set to become no more than a till in the local shop” he added.

However, a Post Office spokesman said: “We understand how important having a post office is to residents in Balloch and we are confident this new style branch will meet their needs and secure services for the future.’’

She explained that the till service, known as Post Office local was already operating successfully in more than 500 branches and this had resulted in ‘‘very positive’’ feedback.

She added: “In Balloch this could increase access to services seven days a week, with opening hours more than doubled, enabling customers to visit at times convenient to them and spreading visits throughout the entire week.’’