News story

Building a mutual Post Office

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

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


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.

Published 19 September 2011