Raasay post office
Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands Labour Regional MSP is calling on the chairman at Royal Mail to rethink his position on the future of Raasay post office.
In a letter to the Raasay branch, the Post Office has indicated that the local service does not fall into the categories protected from compulsory closure.
While it emphasises this does not mean the branch will necessarily shut – it does point out that it is in the group of 11,000 branches where 2,500 will be closed.
Given the unique geographical, economic and social factors on Raasay Mr Peacock believes this is ridiculous.
"The Post Office Network proposed certain access criteria to protect rural services.
"The DTI consultation recognised that there could not be a 'one size fits all' approach to access criteria and that in applying the criteria, Post Office Limited would take account of local conditions such as rivers, mountains, valley, motorways and sea-crossings.
"I share the surprise expressed by the secretary of the community council that the local post office should find itself in the category being considered for closure," said Mr Peacock.
Following an outcry from the community council and the wider population the MSP has to written to Alan Leighton, Chairman at Royal Mail, to outline the situation on Raasay and to urge him to re-categorize the branch.
Mr Peacock added: "In recent years much effort has been expended by the Scottish Executive, Highland Council and other statutory agencies to sustain and support the population in more remote parts of the Highlands and Islands, such as Raasay.
"It is deeply unsatisfactory and unhelpful to learn that Raasay post office is being considered for closure.
"If unique geographical features are to mean anything, surely Raasay post office should be near the top of any list of those branches exempt from risk of closure."
web link : Raasay Community Association
8 November 2007
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