Trade and Industry Press Notice (No. 17)



The Trade and Industry Committee today announced its intention to conduct an inquiry into the implementation of the Post Office Urban Reinvention Programme and its impact on consumers.

On 15 October 2002 the Government announced that it would make up to £180 million available to Post Office Ltd for the restructuring of its urban post office network through the provision of compensation to subpostmasters who elected to leave it. A further £30 million was to be made available on a matched funding basis for improvements to those offices remaining in the network.

During the course of its inquiry the Committee will consider issues such as:

•  The methodology used by Post Office Ltd to identify  potential candidates for closure, and assess their relative merits;

•  Any changes in that methodology that have been introduced during the course of the programme and the reasons behind such changes;

•  The consultation process which must be carried out prior to any closure decision;

•  The role and effectiveness of Postwatch in the decision making process;

•  The impact of Post Office Ltd's decisions on local communities;

•  The role of Postcomm in the oversight of the implementation of the programme; and

•  The criteria by which the success or failure of the programme will be assessed by the company and by Government. 

The Committee would welcome written evidence on these or any other related issues by Friday 30 April 2004.  Details of any oral evidence will be announced shortly after that date.

Written evidence

If possible, written evidence should take the form of a memorandum with numbered paragraphs and should be submitted, as a MS Word document, by e-mail to with a single hard copy sent to the Clerk at the address above.

For further information please contact the Committee Office on 020 7219 5777/ 5779.

12 March  2004