A FIFE MSP said the decision to close Halbeath's Post Office had been "driven by greed over the need of people and communities".

Alex Rowley said he was "deeply disappointed" on receiving a letter explaining the reasons behind the service being axed.

As reported by the Press in November, Post Office Ltd confirmed the branch within the Spar at Pittsburgh Road will close temporarily following the resignation of the operator and the withdrawal of the premises for post office use.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “The operator for Pittsburgh Road has resigned, which will take effect on Saturday 23 January at 12.30pm. The store where the Post Office is based is remaining open.

“We know how important a Post Office is to a community. We are currently investigating the options available to reinstate a Post Office service to the local community. In the interim, an alternative branch includes Halbeath Road branch.”

Mr Rowley wrote to Spar Scotland outlining his disappointment and, in response, the company's CEO Colin McLean said it was "no longer viable" for them to continue to offer the service at the Halbeath site.

He stated: "In the current climate and with additional pressures on our stores, we must ensure that we protect our core business. This means having a convenience store that can trade well and sustainably service the community in which it operates.

"The decision has been taken to terminate this service after our review of Post Office operations in a number of stores across the business, with factors such as the nearest Post Office taken into consideration to ensure customers are still able to access the service.

"In this instance, the nearest Post Office counters will be at Abbeyview, Halbeath Road or Townhill.

"The retail store will still be trading as usual and we will be utilising the space left from the removal of the Post Office to improve our range, our products and our customer offering."

Mr Rowley said he would continue to work with Post Office Ltd to see if an alternative could be found.

"It is very sad that this important service is being taken out so the company can use the space to maximise more profits from its store with no regard for the local community and the fact that this is a vital service for the village and surrounding areas," he said.

"I am deeply disappointed and do not believe this bodes well for a company that is clearly driven by greed over the need of people and communities."

When the decision was announced, Halbeath Residents and Tenants Association said the closure would have a "devastating impact" on the area.

A spokesperson told the Press this week that the Spar Scotland owners CJ Lang should have a "moral and ethical duty" to the residents of Halbeath in keeping the Post Office going.

"When you bring such a huge service into the community, you cannot just withdraw it in a heartbeat," he said. "People will have to go to town, to the petrol station on Halbeath Road or to Abbeyview for their banking services and for posting things."