The closure of the post office in Newtongrange “due to unforeseen circumstances” has sparked anger, months after the village lost its last bank.
The post office on Main Street has been closed since March 9, with scaffolding on the shop following recent on-going work. However, locals have been left in the dark with a note in the door simply saying “closed due to unforeseen circumstances” with no timescale given as to when it will re-open, and head office claiming the situation is outwith their control.
This uncertainty has angered villagers, who now have to go to Gorebridge or Mayfield for any post office transactions, raising concern that pensioners will be unable to pick up their pensions.
Newtongrange Community Council chairman Jason Ferry said: “This isn’t acceptable. The post office is required for bank transactions now, ever since the RBS shut.
“And it is also unacceptable for people that use the post office for its services.
“I noticed the sign was up, so I emailed the head office to say this seems to be shut properly now. The Post office told me it was outwith its control.
“Because of the service it provides to the most vulnerable in our community this is a totally unacceptable situation and needs to be rectified as soon as possible.
“Or at least a clear direction given as to the continuation of the service and when it is likely to be reopened.”
With new homes continuing to be built in the area, Mr Ferry is angry at what he sees as a further deterioration of local services and facilities.
He added: “People are saying that this isn’t right, that the village needs this service. It has really hit a chord with a lot of people because we used to have another post office service at the shop on Bryan’s Corner, but that closed five or six years ago and left us with this one post office.
“It seems that there is something going on there but we are not party to exactly what. It would appear to be a temporary closure. We are certainly hoping that is the case anyway.”
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Newtongrange Post Office. We would like to reassure customers that we are working hard to restore the service to the community as soon as possible and are committed to maintaining services in the area. In the meantime, customers can access Post Office services at Hunterfield Post Office and Mayfield Post Office.”