By Marcus Leach

Subpostmasters, customers and communities could be given a say in how the Post Office is run under plans published today (Monday) by Postal Affairs Minister Edward Davey.

The proposals are in a Government consultation, ‘Building a Mutual Post Office’, published today setting out options to move the Post Office from Government ownership to a mutual model.

“The Post Office sits at the heart of our communities and I am determined to make sure that it becomes a successful and profitable business," Postal Affairs Minister Edward Davey said.

“With this in mind we want to explore how those with an interest in the Post Office could be given a real say in how it is run.

“The consultation, Building a Mutual Post Office, published today, sets out the different options for how we might enable subpostmasters, employees, post office customers and local communities, to have a real stake in the future of the Post Office.”

“Combined with our major investment programme and Post Office’s ambition to become the ‘Front Office for Government’, a mutualised Post Office could help link a new commercial focus with an even stronger community purpose.

“That’s why I really want everyone with an opinion on the future of the Post Office network to tell us what they think of our proposals.”

The consultation builds on a detailed and independent report for Government led by Co-operatives UK. Published in May this year, their report was positively received by Post Office’s stakeholders.

The Government believes that Post Office Ltd could be ideally suited to a mutual model, with those that know it best working together, giving them a greater say in how the business is run, as well as a stake in its success.

Changing Post Office Ltd — the national company which sets the strategy for the post office network and operates some of the larger branches - to a mutual would not affect the ownership of the thousands of privately-owned post office branches up and down the country.

A move to a mutual would not of course be possible until the business is on a more financially sustainable footing. The Government has committed to provide £1.34 billion of funding to the post office network over the spending review period to modernise the network and safeguard its future.

Government believes that the Post Office could be on a clear path to mutualisation by the end of this Parliament.

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