Newtongrange Post Office Library

Wednesday December 19th 2018

Newtongrange Library

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

COUNCIL officials will investigate whether putting a Post Office in a village library could work to protect both services for their local communities.

Midlothian Councillor Kieran Munro called for an investigation into the possibility of putting the postal service into his local library in the village of Newtongrange.

He called on the council to investigate the viability of the plan and whether it would help not only bring the community back its Post Office but secure the future of the library.

And he was giving the unanimous backing of fellow councillors who hailed the idea as a future model for other communities if investigations proved it could work.

Mr Munro, Conservative, told a meeting of the council this week that he had used his village library since he was a young boy and wanted to ensure it had a future.

He said: “I first visited Newtongrange Library in November 1999 at the age of three and if there is one thing I can do in my time here I’ll be making sure the library is there for the community of Newtongrange 20 years from now.”

He asked Midlothian Council to “explore the viability of integrating a fully operational post office within Newtongrange Library this reinstating this much needed facility, increasing the footfall and providing the opportunity to engage with residents with regard to what the library has to offer.”

Councillor Derek Milligan, council leader, backed the proposal saying: “I think this is a very good idea, and would be interested in finding out if it could be rolled out to other areas.

“I think the suggestion of it being a stream of income to help booster the libraries and provide a public service is well thought out and welcome here.”

And Councillor Jim Muirhead added: “We should not be trying to make a wider political issue of this, I certainly did not think of it and it is a good initiative, if it gets us a post office back in Newtongrange and does anything to help sustain the library I am all for it.”

Criticism came from Councillor Kenneth Baird, SNP, who accused the UK Government of selling the Post Office for “half of its worth” in 2016, however the motion was passed unanimously.

A report into the feasibility of the proposal is now expected to be put before the council in March next year.

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