LEADING members of Barrhead’s community have called for East Renfrewshire Council to offer help in the fight to save the Main Street post office.

The service, based within the McColl’s store, is to close on June 10 but community councillors have come up with an alternative plan for it to reopen elsewhere on Main Street.

They claim the James McGuire Building – just 150 yards away and currently unused – would be a suitable replacement.

Rosaleen Reilly, chair of Barrhead Community Council (BCC), said: “The James McGuire Building on Main Street is perfectly suitable for a replacement post office.

“A post office could be moved in on the bottom floor and the top floor could be leased out. The structures and counters are already in there.

“Shared responsibility of the building could work and all it would take would be some support from council officers and elected members.

“We are now calling on Barrhead’s councillors to show their support.”

As well as the benefits of retaining a post office in the area, the proposed building is also equipped with disabled access and has counters and private booths already installed, according to the community council.

These benefits could prove vital to elderly and disabled residents of the town who use the post office.

Rena McGuire, BCC secretary, added: “This move is something that needs to be seriously looked at.

“Disability access, which is key for the elderly people who will be using any new post office, is already in place and could be used.

“We need to get the councillors on board to get something done before it’s too late.”

The proposal has now been backed in principal by elected members at East Renfrewshire Council.

Barrhead councillor Paul Aitken has thrown his weight behind the plan but said further investigation is needed.

He added: “It is very disappointing for Barrhead residents to see the closure of a local post office and that is the case with the closure of the existing post office in Barrhead’s Main Street.

“I would be in favour of the council’s old James McGuire Building being put to use. However, this would require a successful application from a suitable party to run the business and would be a decision for the estates service to make.

“In principle, I would be in favour of a replacement post office in Barrhead’s Main Street.”

Bosses at East Renfrewshire Council have said finding an individual or group to run the post office is key.

A spokesperson added: “The council is open to working with the community to provide a viable future for this building.

“However, any proposal which may be put forward would require to be supported by a business case which could demonstrate the sustainability of the project.”