Building a mutual Post Office

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sub postmasters, customers and communities could be given a say in how the Post Office is run under new proposals.

Postal Affairs Minister Edward Davey announced the plans today in a Government consultation, ‘Building a Mutual Post Office,’ which sets out options to move the Post Office from Government ownership to a mutual model.

Postal Affairs Minister Edward Davey said:

“The Post Office sits at the heart of our communities and I am determined to make sure that it becomes a successful and profitable business.

“With this in mind we want to explore how those with an interest in the Post Office could be given a real say in how it is run.

“The consultation, Building a Mutual Post Office, published today, sets out the different options for how we might enable subpostmasters, employees, post office customers and local communities, to have a real stake in the future of the Post Office.”

“Combined with our major investment programme and Post Office’s ambition to become the ‘Front Office for Government’, a mutualised Post Office could help link a new commercial focus with an even stronger community purpose.

“That’s why I really want everyone with an opinion on the future of the Post Office network to tell us what they think of our proposals.”

The mutual model

The consultation builds on a detailed and independent report for Government led by Co-operatives UK. Published in May this year, their report was positively received by Post Office’s stakeholders.

The Government believes that Post Office Ltd could be ideally suited to a mutual model, with those that know it best working together, giving them a greater say in how the business is run, as well as a stake in its success.

Changing Post Office Ltd - the national company which sets the strategy for the post office network and operates some of the larger branches - to a mutual would not affect the ownership of the thousands of privately-owned post office branches up and down the country.

A move to a mutual would not of course be possible until the business is on a more financially sustainable footing. The Government has committed to provide £1.34 billion of funding to the post office network over the spending review period to modernise the network and safeguard its future.

Government believes that the Post Office could be on a clear path to mutualisation by the end of this Parliament.