Services to remain at Braemar PO

Braemar Post Office.
Braemar Post Office.

Braemar Post Office will retain a number of key services after a meeting between officials and residents of the village.

As reported in the Piper on July 20, locals had expressed their disappointment at not being consulted over a number of changes which included the removal of express and international delivery services.

John MacPherson.

John MacPherson.

The move would have meant a 36-mile round trip to Ballater Post Office for anyone who wished to use these services.

The changes are part of the new Post Office Local scheme which will see the Post Office match the opening times of the Co-op when it re-opens in the store on August 16.

A meeting was arranged last Friday where local councillors and residents raised their concerns with Post Office officials.

Senior manager Connie Hewitt and area manager Kenny Lamont said they had listened to the feedback from the village and that it was decided that the delivery and change giving services should remain in place.

They also agreed to look at the Post Office’s acceptance of cheques, which was also going to be scrapped under the original proposals.

Mr Lamont said: “We are delighted by the support given to this move and hope our customers will be pleased with the new extended Post Office opening hours from 7am to 10pm seven days a week.”

Upper Deeside councillor Geva Blackett, who attended the meeting, was delighted with the Post Office’s response.

She said: “It was a really good meeting and the Post Office clearly listened to the letters of representation from the community council and myself.

“The Post Office should be commended as they have recognised that the situation here in Braemar is unique.”

John MacPherson, chairman of Braemar Community Council, said that everyone “seemed satisfied” with the results of the meeting.

“The Post Office has been very supportive and listened to our concerns,” he said. “The management has reacted swiftly which we are very pleased about.

“We sorted the majority of things with the only slight worry being that cheques won’t be accepted. Many businesses here still use cheques and we were assured it would be looked at.”

The Co-operative has invested £360,000 refitting its food store on The Square in Braemar.

Along with the Post Office, the store will be upgraded with additional tills, a new kiosk and an in-store bakery.

Popular services such as photocopying, The National Lottery and Paypoint will remain.