The petition of residents of Kilmarnock and Loudoun,
Declares that sub postmasters and their staff carry out valuable work daily to support their local communities; further declares that they provide financial services that ensure the physical and psychological wellbeing of vulnerable people; and further declares that all sub postmasters should be commended for their efforts and their role should be preserved by a UK Government commitment to the Post Office network.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to ensure the extension of the Post Office subsidy beyond 2021; and make a formal statement on the integral role that sub postmasters play in supporting their communities.
And the petitioners remain, etc—[Presented by Alan Brown , Official Report, 25 November 2020; Vol. 684, c. 933 .]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Paul Scully):
The Government value and recognise the key role that postmasters and their staff have continued to carry out during the pandemic. Postmasters and their staff have worked tirelessly to ensure post office services have continued to be available to communities across the country. These vital services have helped businesses capitalise on the growth of e-commerce and enabled people to keep in touch with loved ones, which has been especially important over the festive season.
The hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun will be reassured to hear that the 2020-21 Spending Review allocated £227 million to the post office network which will provide Post Office Ltd with funds to support post offices across the United Kingdom. This extends the £50 million network subsidy and provides Post Office Ltd with £177 million to invest in the future of the network.
The sustainability and future success of the post office network remain of the utmost importance to the Government. We will continue to make sure the Post Office maintains its focus on supporting postmasters to handle the ever-increasing challenges of operating during the pandemic.