*Post Office corrects “flawed” information

Forfar Post Office.
Forfar Post Office.

Post Office Limited has had to withdraw information relating to its proposals to move Forfar Post Office after it was found to be inaccurate.

Details included on the company’s information sheet regarding parking arrangements at the current branch and at the proposed new location at 7 East High Street were branded “flawed and incorrect” by Councillor Glennis Middleton at Forfar Community Council’s last meeting.

Mrs Middleton, who objects to Post Office Limited’s proposal to close the current branch in West High Street and relocate services to within a convenience store, said the inaccuracy cast doubt on the company’s information sheet which provides salient details about both sites.

Under ‘Parking’, the only facilities listed for the current Post Office are “a public car park with restricted 30 minutes’ stay within 50 metres of the branch” while for the proposed site it states “free roadside parking facilities are available on either side of the road.”

Mrs Middleton pointed out this takes no account of the free roadside parking in West High Street near the Post Office or the road markings restricting parking outside and opposite 7 East High Street.

She said: “This has clearly been written by someone who has never visited the site.”

A spokesman for Post Office Limited this week told the Dispatch that the inaccurate information has now been withdrawn and corrected.

Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, Mrs Middleton said she continues to oppose the propsals for several reasons, but highlighted the parking issue as “seriously flawed”.

She added: “The consultation document is seriously flawed as it says there’s free parking on both sides of the street, which is clearly untrue, there’s no parking at all on one side and it’s limited on the other.

“I’m also not sure how parcels will be picked up from there as the parcel vans, which are big, can’t get access around the back and would be difficult for them to park.”

The spokesman for Post Office Limited said: “It appears that incorrect parking information was issued. This has been corrected and new consultation materials have been issued.”

Isobel Ross, community council chairwoman, said she had met with representatives from Post Office Limited and had left with the feeling that the move from West High Street is “a done deal”.

She said: “The Post Office doesn’t want stand alone Post Offices now and wants to integrate them into convenience stores. It was pointed out that it would have longer hours, but I feel that doesn’t come into it, it’s the location that matters and the location has to be better.

“I feel that if there’s Government money to invest in the Post Office network, why aren’t they doing up the existing Post Office? If it was refurbished, that would be the ideal place.”

The community council as a whole felt the proposed changes would be detrimental to customers who currently have parking and access by public transport via nearby bus stops and they also feared it would have a knock-on negative effect on footfall in West High Street.

The consultation will close on November 26, 2014. Submissions can be made by Freepost YOUR COMMENTS to Post Office Ltd, via email to comments@postoffice.co.uk, via the Customer Helpline on 08457 223344 or Textphone 08457 223355. and online at postofficeviews.co.uk with the branch code 126820.