LOCAL MP Patricia Gibson has called out successive UK Governments for letting down rural Post Offices.

She highlighted the case of the facility on Kilwinning's Main Street in particular when addressing Leader of the House of Commons The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP on her concerns.

The town's only Main Street Post Office counter officially closed at the beginning of the year, making Pennyburn nearest available facility for locals.

And while the search is currently on to replace this counter in a similar location - we may not see this until mid-2023 at least, if at all.

Addressing the issue in the House of Commons last week, Ms Gibson said that the situation is alarming.

She explained: “The decline of Post Offices in our rural and urban communities is truly alarming such as the loss of the Post Office in my constituency on Kilwinning Main Street.

“Post masters are struggling desperately to make a living, now this is partly down to the fact that the last Labour government stripped Post Offices of many of the services that they were able to offer – and this government’s ongoing failure to provide the necessary energy support that they so desperately need.

“As well the banks not paying the post offices for providing the services that the banks are no longer interested in providing.

“So will the Leader of the House make a statement, setting out what representations she will make in cabinet about ongoing and necessary support to save our Post Offices.”

In her reply to Ms Gibson, The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP stated she will make sure that the North Ayrshire and Arran MP was assisted in addressing the situation which has arisen in Kilwinning.

She said: “Post Offices are an incredibly important community hub, many services are run out of them, but they also provide a focal point and are very often housed not in distinct venues but also in some cases even in local pubs.

“They’re incredibly important and communities have been very creative in ensuring they can have that local presence.

“There will be good practice and advice that the honourable lady can access to ensure that she does not lose these services for her community.

“I shall make sure that the relevant department, the new secretary of state, has heard her concerns, and ask for an official to get in touch to see whether there is any of that good practice and learnings that others have implemented that will help the honourable lady in the situation that she is in.”

The advert for a new Post Office franchise in Kilwinning remains live, and can be viewed at tinyurl.com/KilwinningPostOffice.