Westhill sorting office will stay

The Royal Mail sorting office in Westhill is to remain in the village.

Westhill & Elrick Community Council, who joined forces with Echt & Skene Community Council to campaign against its threatened closure, received good news at their monthly meeting.

Eric Davidson, from Royal Mail, told the meeting: “We are staying where we are. We have agreed a deal to renew the lease on the building. The health and safety issues have been resolved and we have carried out the necessary risk assessments.”

Iris Walker, spokeswoman for Westhill & Elrick Community Council said: “We are delighted that this essential service will be retained in Westhill. Many businesses and households - not only in Westhill but in Echt and Skene as well as outlying rural areas - would have been affected by the proposed closure. Audrey Findlay, acting chairwoman for W&ECC and Ian MacMaster, chairman of Echt & Skene CC, worked together to voice local concerns and this is a very welcome outcome.”

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP, Sir Robert Smith, who had previously called on Royal Mail to maintain a delivery office in Westhill, welcomed the news.

“Royal Mail have responded to a strong campaign by the local community and recognised the important role a local delivery office plays.”

Royal Mail had said the current site at Enterprise Drive was unsuitable for postal collections due to its location within Westhill Industrial Estate, next to engineering and construction companies.

Westhill and District Councillor Amanda Allan was also delighted at the news.

“It will be a great relief for the 32 staff and for the people in and around Westhill who are using the valuable service to learn that Royal Mail’s Derek Angus and Eric Davidson both confirmed that the lease for the facility has been signed and that the organisation has cleared all health and safety issues related to the location,” she said.

Dennis Robertson MSP thanked councillor Allan for her efforts to retain the service and added: “Residents in and around Westhill can be proud of their local representatives at council and at both community councils - Westhill and District and Echt and Skene. I know that they all worked hard together to achieve this positive outcome and I congratulate them all for their success.

“The community has demonstrated that by engaging with Royal Mail from the outset, services can be retained locally. I was delighted to meet some of the Westhill community councillors at the Westhill Gala a couple of weeks ago and I look forward to working with them all in the future.”