POST OFFICE Ltd. pledged to ensure services are maintained in Clackmannan, after a local merchant resigned from running the counters.

The Advertiser understands that exactly a year after launching the local-style Post Office, on February 18 the sub-postmaster A&T Foodstores has decided to resign and stop the service within the shop.

Local residents now have to go to Alloa or Sauchie to use the Post Office services there.

A Post Office spokesperson explained: “The postmaster at Clackmannan Post Office has resigned and requested that we look to find a replacement operator.

“Customers should be assured that the Post Office is committed to maintaining a Post Office service in the area and will work hard to ensure this.

“Consequently, we are currently assessing the interest locally in running the Post Office in this area. If this results in a further relocation of the branch, and any such relocation would be subject to a public consultation.”

However, the spokesperson gave no indication as to when the service could be up and running again.

There is also no guarantee that a new private sub-postmaster would also decide to do the same, if it fails to make money.

Councillor Kathleen Martin told the Advertiser that the loss of the service left local residents deeply concerned.

She said: "I have been in regular contact with Post Office Ltd. and have made it known that there are deep concerns amongst residents in Clackmannan about the loss of this service.

“I've urged Post Office Ltd. to come up with a positive outcome that is acceptable to the community.”

A&T Foodstores declined to officially comment on the closure. However, it is understood that a lack of profitability is behind the decision.

Sub-postmasters get a commission for every Post Office transaction – postage, home shopping returns, parcel collections, bill payments and else. Post Office Ltd. also promises that running a local service can increase a business' customer footfall and retail.

Around a year ago, when the new branch was about to be launched, regional manager Suzanne Richardson said: “We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the community will meet customer needs.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future. The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”