A meeting was held 11th February 2020 to discuss the village shop and post office closure.
Please see minutes below for details.
We’re pleased to say that the Post Office have agreed to “review” the possibility of retaining our “community post office status” (the one that enables a salary to be attached to it) but we can’t get complacent, and need to bombard them with emails and letters to ensure that the review has the outcomes we want!
Initially, everyone needs to contextualise their response, saying who they are, what the PO means to them etc and what they use it for – don’t forget the social aspect too. The below is only a suggested text so feel free to amend or do your own thing.
Cockburnspath is a vibrant Community with a population of around 500 which almost doubles when you include the surrounding Hamlets of Cove, Dunglass, Old Cambus, Chapelhill, Hoprig, Ecclaw, Pathhead, Bilsdean and Redheugh and more.
It suffers from a poor local transport system, which has declined in the last year, and has a high level of older people amongst its population, who are unable to access other post offices, with the nearest being Dunbar, or Eyemouth.
The Community has had a village shop and a Community Post. Office for around 100 years and it is the absolute hub of the village. Unfortunately due to the sudden and unexpected death of shop’s proprietor just after Christmas 2019 the Shop /Post Office in its current location will close on 29/2/2020. The Post office is currently open 6 days a week with half days on Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Community are very determined to ensure that we continue to have a fully functioning Village Shop and Community status Post Office. The Community Council have had an open meeting in the village hall (February 5th) and the hall was absolutely full and local councillors, MSP’s etc were invited and attended. The Community has, through wind farm community benefits, employed an experienced Development Officer to spearhead our project to safeguard our Village Shop and Community Post Office for the current and future generations, and to create a dynamic Community Action Plan, involving robust local engagement.
At the moment the Post Office have offered a restricted outreach service in the village hall one morning per week. Whilst this is welcomed in the very short term, we expect to have a 6 days a week Community Post Office as part of our new village shop for this and future generations. We are therefore committed to the retention of the “community PO status” which will allow us to do this.
Our plans are progressing apace to replace the current shop with a number of locations etc being explored and considered.
Email comments should be sent to email@example.com and marked for attention of Gail Burnett, Change Manager. Letters can be sent to the same person at the following address.
Gail Burnett, Change Manager, Retail Operations, Borders Region, Post Office Ltd, 3rd Floor, 120 Bark Street, Bolton, BL1 2A.
Here are the email addresses of the people to write to regarding Post Office status. Basically we want people to write to all below about why they want to retain a “community status” Post Office in Co’path – our geographical situation hasn’t changed; we still qualify for this status and it’s a bereavement that’s meant the shop and P.O. will close so they should be sympathetic. Running any type of shop and P.O. without the certainty of covering partial employment of a postmistress/master ( i.e. the £12k community status payment) makes running a local facility very difficult. Please say what the PO means to you – anything from parcels, returns, stamps, pensions, electricity top ups etc etc. How often do you use it etc. Important that we don’t send loads of identical letters. We will post a proforma in due course when we have it but PLEASE add personal details/ experiences. Email addresses are:
The latter is the public comments mail box for the Post Office in this area. All others are MP/MSPs. Please also copy in JFullarton@scotborders.gov.uk and Helen.Laing@scotborders.gov.uk plus Mark.Rowley@scotborders.gov.uk
We will put these details on notice boards over next couple of days. Many thanks to so many who volunteered and attended last night’s meeting – it was very positive and there are lots of ideas around. Great community – let’s keep this impetus going!
There will be a public meeting on Wednesday 5th February at 7pm in the Village Hall to obtain ideas on how the community can deal with the closure of the village shop. Flyers will be sent around doors in the next week. Please attend!
The Parish of Dunglass is looking to pay someone to deliver a newsletter to every house in the parish throughout Cockburnspath, Innerwick and Oldhamstocks, including all the remote farms. It is envisaged that there will be three newsletters a year in March, September and November, being delivered to just over 700 homes. It is likely to take about two full days to deliver all the newsletters.
If you are interested please contact Alex Nightingale on firstname.lastname@example.org