Government backs mutual Post Office

The Government is pressing ahead with plans to mutualise post offices, saying the proposals were supported by staff and the public.

Postal affairs minister Norman Lamb said a consultation had revealed enthusiasm among subpostmasters, staff and the wider public for a stake in the Post Office.

"Post office branches are relied upon by communities the length and breadth of the country," he said.

"That is why we have committed £1.34 billion of funding to the business and why there will be no closure programme under this Government. I want to make sure that the Post Office becomes a successful and secure business.

"This consultation has shown that those who know the Post Office best - its staff, subpostmasters and consumers - have a clear interest in playing a greater role in how it operates.

"A mutual Post Office would bring together the diverse interests of those who use, work for and run Post Office branches, with the shared purpose of running the business for the benefit of the public.

"I am incredibly excited by the prospect of establishing a mutual Post Office."

Billy Hayes, Communication Workers Union general secretary, said: "Today's report paints a positive future for the Post Office, but the suitability of a mutual model is still unclear.

"We're in favour of a successful operating model for the Post Office which delivers high quality services to communities across the UK, and if mutualisation can do that then that's great.

"We also agree with putting the workforce at the heart of the organisation."