Outreach service proposal for Ferryden

FERRYDEN will be without its own post office until September although proposals to continue services in the village have been put forward.

Consultation began this week on the provision of an outreach service which would operate on two days from Inchbrayock Church Hall.

The company had to temporarily close the Ferryden branch in April following the resignation of the subpostmaster and the withdrawal of premises for Post Office use.

Owner Brian Noble closed the village shop, which he ran for five years, blaming the difficult economic climate, lack of use by residents and little or no passing trade.

He claimed that it would have to make at least another £400 per week to make trading viable.

This week Post Office Limited said the new location, in Brownlow Place, is just over 50 yards from its former branch.

The service, which would be available for five hours per week, will be run by the subpostmaster from the Montrose Street branch in Brechin.

A spokeswoman said: “The hosted service will operate on a Wednesday between 9.30am and 12pm and a Friday between 1pm and 3.30pm.

“Post Office Ltd believes the proposed arrangement presents the best possible solution to allow it to maintain and safeguard Post Office services in the area in the longer term.

“Customers will still be able to access the same wide range of products and services as the previous service.”

If the decision after the consultation period is to put the proposal into action, Post Office Ltd plans to introduce the service in September.

Local councillor David May who, along with Ferryden Community Council, has been pressing the company on a timescale for a return of services, this week said it is encouraging that a level of service will be maintained.

He said: “I’m disappointed that it’s an outreach service and from what I gather it’s going to be two sessions a week. It’s also disappointing that it will be another seven or eight weeks before it’s open, but at least it will still be in the village.”

Over the next six weeks Post Office Ltd is seeking views on any issues the community would like to be considered including access and facilities at the new location, the proposed opening hours, the proposed days of service and local issues specific to Ferryden.

Field change adviser Brian Turnbull said: “Post Office Ltd proposes to introduce this service to help safeguard Post Office services in Ferryden in the long-term.

“The facilities and service that we provide to our customers is of paramount importance and we are confident that our customers will benefit, in the longer term, by this change.”

The closing date for submissions is August 23 and any comments or concerns should be addressed to Brian Turnbull, c/o Post Office Ltd, National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW.