Committee launches post offices forum

27 January 2009

The Business and Enterprise Committee today launches a web forum on the future of the Post Office. Through this forum members of the public can submit their views on postal services and help shape the future of the network. "Public’s views vital," says Committee.

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 could help make the network more profitable and help reduce the subsidy it receives?

The results will feed into the Committee’s inquiry Post Offices: Securing their future. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has requested the Committee's report 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 for real input to the man and woman on the street. Hence the launch of this forum. After all, it is the individual users of the Post Office as much as the Government who should shape the service to suit their needs. It is important to remember, however, that the services the Post Office provides are supported by the taxpayer.

"We would 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."

The web forum will close on 10 March 2009. Registration details will remain private, but members of the public should be careful not to reveal private information on their posts.

Image: PA Photos

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