bec pn 16 0809

27 January 2009 (PN 16)

"Public's views vital," says Committee

The Business & Enterprise Committee today launches a Post Office web forum:

Through this forum members of the public can submit their views and help shape the future of the network.

The Post Office network€”now reduced to 11,500 branches€”provides vital services. Its importance is reflected in the £150 million public subsidy it receives each year. But many of its services are now also available through other channels, particularly online.

Through the forum the Committee wants to find out from individuals how the Post Office network is important to them. What services must the public be able to access through the Post Office network, regardless of whether they are profitable? What new services - public or private - could help to secure the network?

The results will feed into the Committee's inquiry Post Offices: Securing their Future, the conclusions of which the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Department has requested by the summer.

Peter Luff, Chairman of the Committee said:

"The Government has asked us to look at how best to secure the future of the Post Office network. We want to extend this opportunity to every customer of the network. That's why we are launching this forum. After all, it is the individual users of the Post Office, and not just the Government or Parliament, who should shape the service to suit their needs.

"We want to encourage as many people to participate in our forum as possible. The independent, all-party, nature of the Select Committee system means that the public can be confident their views will be taken into account when we report in the summer.

"We want to know what the Post Office does already that it could do better - and we want to know what people want the Post Office to do in the future that it hasn't done before. People can be as creative as they like - in fact the more creative the better! "

The web forum will be open from today for six weeks. Registration details will remain private, but members of the public should be careful not to reveal private information on their posts.

For all other media inquiries please contact, Laura Humble on 020 7219 2003/ 07917 488489.

Further Information:

Committee membership is as follows:
Chairman: Peter Luff MP (Con) (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr Adrian Bailey (Lab) (West Bromwich West)
Roger Berry (Lab) (Kingswood)
Mr Brian Binley (Con) (Northampton South)
Mr Michael Clapham (Lab) (Barnsley West and Pen.)
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Lab) (Chorley)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Con) (Bromsgrove)
Anne Moffat (Lab) (East Lothian)
Mark Oaten (Lib Dem) (Winchester)
Lembit Öpik (Lib Dem) (Montgomeryshire)
Mr Anthony Wright (Lab) (Great Yarmouth)

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 0207 219 2003/ 07917 488 489, email: [email protected]
Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5777, email:
[email protected]