Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Post Office moving to McColls: “A marriage of two ugly ducklings to make a swan”?

This observer went over to the consultation meeting in the Community Centre this evening. There were two high heid yins from McColls and another two folk from the Post Office, also present were three members of the public (myself included) and a reporter from the Leopold Street Gazette. The quote in the title of this article comes from one of the Post Office folk.

The low attendance prompted a few questions from the two ladies who had turned up and they suggested that there had been inadequate publicity for the event. Here at the Gurn we weren't sure when this meeting was coming up and it was this post in the popular Nairn Rocks Facebook pages that alerted us to the exact time and date but there may have been other information out there that we didn't see. We would anticipate that quite a few folk saw the mention on Facebook but perhaps 5.30 was a very inconvenient time for many. 

Nairn folk are used to consultation, it usually means that someone comes along, listens to what you have to say and then goes away and decides to give you what they intended anyway – or to be fair that is the historical perception, it may have mellowed more recently perhaps with outcomes being altered here and there in the community's favour. This consultation was about the Post Office moving to McColls and obviously people had other ideas about where the Post Office could go – they weren't aware though that there are no other options, it is McColls or nowhere – no one else has expressed an interest.

The present Postmaster that runs the agency in Nairn has been trying to get rid of his commitment for some time and according to the PO officials present it is now coming to the point where he will be unable to continue. It is obvious that running a Post Office is not as financially rewarding as it used to be. It is a changing world according to the officials, with the Post Office only owning one of the services they provide (postal orders) and they have to bid against rival providers for the other services. With McColls too cigarettes and newspapers are not the major earners they used to be with with less users and readers and competing businesses nearby – having a Post Office in their shop would help make their business outlet in Nairn be more profitable. A marriage of convenience beckons for the two in Nairn?

Nothing is settled yet, there are access issues to be sorted and both McColls and the Post Office will go away and consider what has been raised in Nairn before coming to a decision. The worst case scenario is that we could lose both the Post Office and McColls but all the high heid yins there tonight are hopeful the move will happen.

We live in changing times Gurnites, the consultation was, in fact, about a fait accompli but perhaps it could be a benign fait accompli and maybe things will work out fine with a Post Office in McColls even with the issue of the size of the shop. It seems to be working elsewhere, according to the officials there tonight, both in other branches of McColls and in other businesses. It's a changing world, changing so fast really in terms of cash and where we can get it and what we do with it so that perhaps in the future, a post office might be the last place we can get some?


Anonymous said...

Well done Mr Gurn for going to the meeting.
So where were all the keyboard warriors? Typical, too busy moaning about something they have little knowledge of to get off their a***s and actually find out what the real situation is. Some of them are asking why put it in McColls, it should be in the Coop or somewhere else. I suspect that's because the Coop aren't interested!
The Post Office is a public company made up of agencies or franchises. The Nairn Post Office has been for sale for several years with no takers. If McColls don't take over the Nairn agency there is a good possibility that Nairn will lose two businesses. That is the harsh reality we live in nowadays.

Rocks and Hard Places said...

Just a practical point on the matter of online publicity.

Any Gurn reader who clicked on the link to the "Nairn Rocks" Facebook page will have discovered that the content is "not available" unless you are a signed-up member of that group.

Nairn Rocks is a closed members-only group. Joining is apparently by invitation and subject to admin approval. It might be popular - among its members. But if casual browsers or non-members can't see what is posted on its pages, then it is pretty useless as a means of publicising local events. And posting a link for the wider Gurn readership is a pointless waste of time.