What is Everyone’s Concern in Stonehaven, but Nobody’s Business?

By Jane Cruickshank / December 11, 2020
KeyStore premises

MAYBE not a riddle the Sphinx would have been proud of, but if you’re still guessing, then the answer is a town centre post office.

For sure anyone who has endured a long wait at the Arduthie Post Office should a) have sympathy for the beleaguered staff there and b) wish we could have our main branch back in business.

The matter was raised at Tuesday night’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council by Ian Hunter, who had been approached by a resident who had waited 35 minutes to post a parcel. Mr Hunter wanted SDCC to write to the Post Office to ask for more action.

Franchise business but not stand alone

Cllr Sarah Dickinson reminded everyone the Post Office is in fact Post Office Ltd: a company who run their branches as franchises.

Mrs Dickinson said she had written to Post Office Ltd about Stonehaven’s plight but received only an acknowledgement that gave her no hope.

”It didn’t show me they they would be doing anything more proactive than advertising the Post Office.”

David Lawman said: ”The indications are it can’t be a business that makes a lot of money or there would be a queue of people for it.”

Dawn Black said Post Office Ltd would not consider someone taking on the business as a stand alone enterprise.

”They want it to be part of another business,” she said.

To which Mr Lawman said: ”Really, they want someone just to subsidise their business.”

How else can you post your parcel?

Keith Simpson said the situation at the Kirkton Garage store was exacerbated by Covid as they did not have the space for queues. He also felt the layout was not good.

Cllr Wendy Agnew said she had approached the Co-op three months ago. She wondered if they could transfer the post office business down to their David Street store where there is a large community room – but she had received just an acknowledgment to her letter.

Discussion turned to options Stonehaven residents have other than stand in a long queue.

Dawn Black said: ”Labels can be printed at home, and there are other parcel operators who will collect from home.

”This is something that could be investigated as many people would not know there are other options.”

The discussion ended with it being agreed such alternatives would be looked into to reduce pressure on the Arduthie Post Office.