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Post Office Network

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 9 November 2010

On 13 October the Government published the Postal Services Bill. This Bill will safeguard the universal postal service and secure a sustainable future for Royal Mail and the Post Office. We promised at that time that we would shortly bring forward a more detailed statement on the future of the post office network.

At the Second Reading of the Postal Services Bill, we announced £1.34 billion of Government funding for the Post Office network over the spending review period. Today we are publishing a statement on our plans to secure the future of the Post Office network.

The funding we have announced will enable the Post Office to invest in the network, reaching out to new customers by refurbishing its branches, extending its opening hours and reducing queues. This will make the Post Office more convenient and an even stronger retail partner for Royal Mail. Securing the Post Office network in the digital age also sets out:

New opportunities for Post Office as the “Front Office for Government”, including examples of new pilots the Post Office is conducting in conjunction with Government Departments and closer working with local authorities.

An agreement between Post Office Ltd and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to give RBS—including Natwest—customers access to their current and business accounts through the Post Office, making almost 80% of current accounts accessible at post offices.

Plans for potential future mutualisation of Post Office Ltd so that the interest of staff, sub-postmasters and even customers can be better aligned.

Copies of the document will be available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. It will also be accessible online on the Department’s website.