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Blairgowrie trader praised for rescuing local post office

05 Jul 2018, 14:52 ... st-office/

A shopkeeper has come to the rescue of an under-threat east Perthshire post office.

Sandy Sarwar has agreed to relaunch the counter at Blairgowrie, following weeks of negotiations.

The town’s only post office is based at the Co-op shop in Wellmeadow, which is due to close at the end of the month.

In January, Mr Sarwar provisionally agreed to host the service at his Pricekracker store on Perth Street.

But he pulled the plug when Post Office Ltd told him he would have to take on five new members of staff.

Mr Sarwar, who runs post offices in Dundee and other parts of Perthshire, said he decided to resume talks when it emerged no alternative arrangement was forthcoming.

He said: “I didn’t want Blairgowrie to be left without a service.

“The Post Office said no one else had come forward and would I like to reconsider our position?

“It would have been a disaster for us to have to take on five new staff but I’ve now been told I don’t have to take on more staff after all.”

He said he is aiming to have the service up and running on August 1, the day after the Co-op closes.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work and effort. We might have to close the shop for a couple of days while we get it ready for the post office.

“We are doing everything we can to provide a first class service for the community.”

The new deal was welcomed by Blairgowrie and Rattray Community Council chairman Ian Richards.

“Sandy Sarwar is to be congratulated for his persistence against the odds and determination to refurbish his shop in time to meet the deadline,” he said.

“We understand that Mr Sarwar has a good reputation for providing Post Office facilities, so expectations are high.

“The one downside is the limited parking available, but a resilient community like ours will no doubt soon learn to adjust to it.”

Last week, the Post Office announced the relocation of its Letham service. It was one of several counters in Perth which closed suddenly in recent months.

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