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A BORDERS Post Office is under threat

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TrueBlueTerrier
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A BORDERS Post Office is under threat

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A BORDERS post office is under threat as townsfolk are being driven away by the abysmal service, community councillors were warned this week.

The Village Store in Innerleithen was recently the subject of a raid by Home Office immigration officers who arrested two men on suspicion of working in the UK illegally.

Complaints have been made about slow service, unhelpful staff and a lack of privacy for customers as the post office area, it was claimed, is not properly separated from other parts of the shop.

The issues were discussed by Innerleithen Community Council and members agreed to take up the matter with Post Office bosses.

Community council chairman Paul Faris said: “We could lose the post office completely - we need to make sure that Post Office headquarters are aware of what’s going on.”

The post office was housed in a self-contained shop but four months ago moved a few hundred yards along the High Street into The Village Store. The change came as part of a streamlining of the Post Office across the UK.

Problems about the service in its new home within the convenience store were also raised at a previous meeting of the community council.

“We felt it was improving at that time but since then there have been some quite significant problems,” said Mr Faris. “There have been immigration issues and people doing work at the rear of the shop and last week the service was pretty poor.

“Some people are already voting with their feet. A lot of elderly customers are especially unhappy about it. When they have been in to other businesses they’ve complained about it and I know other shopkeepers have tried to help.”

Community council member Jackie Couchman said: “I have heard of a lot of complaints. Some people are going to Walkerburn or Peebles instead, but others aren’t in a position to go elsewhere.

“This is all in stark contrast to the service we were offered before.”

Matters were improved when June Carruthers, the woman who ran the old post office, was taken on as a member of staff at The Village Store, said Mr Faris.

But he added: “June couldn’t agree hours with the shopowner, so she hasn’t been there very much.”

No-one from The Village Store was available for comment.
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