Highland MSP Lodges Parliamentary Motion over Fort William Post Office Move

Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, criticising plans to relocate postal services in Fort William from the Crown Post Office to the basement of the local branch of WH Smith.

The north MSP has previously expressed concerns over the plans and heavily criticised the consultation process.

Mr Peacock said, "I am well aware of the considerable disquiet which exists in Fort William over the plans to move postal services in the town to the basement of the local WH Smith’s premises.

"I have received several representations from a local councillor and Fort William Community Council on this issue.

"Concerns have been expressed over the virtually meaningless nature of the ‘consultation’ and the unsuitability of the proposed location in the basement of WH Smith’s Fort William branch, which is accessed by steep and narrow stairs.

" It is planned to install a lift but this brings its own problems for the disabled and infirm in the event of a fire or simply dealing with peak customer demand.

"Overall the proposed move amounts to a downgrading of the service provided to the public, in what can be a very busy postal service outlet.

"The local community council has written to me advising they are trying to meet with a representative of WH Smith to discuss the issue and I will also be writing in support of their letter.

"The strength of feeling in Fort William over the proposals has not abated and the consultation process has been heavily criticised.

"I have lodged the motion on the Fort William Post Office to raise the profile of the local campaign and bring the issue to the attention of the Scottish Parliament."

Mr Peacock added, "The public in Fort William should have the right to expect that the closure and transfer of postal services from the Crown Post Office to another location should not amount to a downgrading."

The text of Peter Peacock’s motion reads :

Fort William Post Office— That the Parliament expresses concern over the current consultation about post office services in Fort William which are to be transferred to the basement floor of the local branch of WH Smith; notes the considerable concerns that have been expressed by local residents who believe that these new arrangements are not adequate to meet customer requirements, in particular for the elderly and infirm, and strongly urges the Post Office and WH Smith to reconsider the proposed location.


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