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Fears for Badenoch's Post Office counter services allayed after Kingussie closure notice


By Tom Ramage

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The Post Office has moved to allay fears in Badenoch that the area might shortly be left without any full-time service.

There has been alarm after it emerged that Kingussie’s postmaster had decided to close and move to London.

At the same time, there was confusion over the future of Newtonmore’s service – with fears banking would have to be done via the scant mobile services provided by the Bank of Scotland and RBS.

But the situation in Newtonmore has become clear with the retiring postmaster announcing he will continue until a replacement counter service is established in the village.

KINGUSSIE POST OFFICE: concern was shared by Newtonmore Business Association's Ian Gibson and local Highland Council member Muriel Cockburn as they awaited formal clarification from Post Office Ltd and the two local postmasters (Picture: Tom Ramage)
KINGUSSIE POST OFFICE: concern was shared by Newtonmore Business Association's Ian Gibson and local Highland Council member Muriel Cockburn as they awaited formal clarification from Post Office Ltd and the two local postmasters (Picture: Tom Ramage)

Graeme Irvine said the Post Office is not closing contrary to rumours.

He said: “We are trying to assist Post Office Ltd with trying to find a solution to the future loss of service in Kingussie and would appreciate anyone who has previous PO experience who could help to get in touch.

“We await the opening of the Strathspey Pharmacy across the road and it is the plan for the Post Office to be incorporated there.

“This, however, is not going to happen soon so the branch in Newtonmore shall remain in the same premises for the most of 2022 at least.

“We hope this clarifies the present situation.”

Mr Irvine told the Strathy that, after 20 years in the job – having succeeded his father, Charlie, who also ran the local Post Office for 20 years before that – he was still looking forward to a change.

He added: “But clearly the community needs its service and that will continue.”

At Kingussie things are not so straightforward.

Postmaster Rehmen Mehemood told the Strathy that he has put The Paper Shop on the market and is heading to London having accepted a job offer in IT.

He said: “I am a computer programmer and feel it’s time to return.

“I have run the shop for four years now and appreciate the support we had from the community and also the very good service from our staff members, Joan Dawson and Shirley Campbell, who have done a great job for us and everyone.”

A Post Office spokesperson told the Strathy: “The postmaster for Kingussie has very recently advised that the branch is due to close at the end of the month.

“We know how important a Post Office is to a community and we are now considering our options and working hard to ensure that we continue to provide a Post Office service to this area.

“The vacancy will be advertised soon. Alternative branches in the area include Newtonmore and Aviemore. An outreach service also started in November at Kincraig Community Hall on Friday mornings."

For full story see today's Strathy


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