MPs tell Government: ‘Stop attacking our Post Office network’Postal October 25 2019
“We disagree with the strategy of closing Crown Post Offices,” was the demand of Westminster’s highest-level Select Committee of MPs, at the conclusion of Official Inquiry into the network today.
The top-level probe, which was launched in April following the CWU’s high-profile ‘Save Our Post Office’ campaign, gave a clear recommendation that the Government must urgently reconsider its strategy.
The nation’s post offices provide a “crucial public service” and “perform a vital social role” reported the MPs, who have considered 59 written submissions from stakeholders and held two Sessions of Oral Evidence over the course of their deliberations.
In a statement accompanying the Report’s publication, Rachel Reeves MP, who Chairs the Business, Enterprise & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee, said: “Government needs to step forward with a long-term funding committment.”
Post Offices “fill the gaps left by retreating banks,” she continued, pointing out that, unless there is a sharp change in Government strategy, our communities will suffer the social consequences.”
The Committee stated clearly that it was “critical of the rush to off-load Crown Offices” and reminded the Government that its chosen retail partner, WH Smith, “is poorly rated by customers” and that it is not a Living Wage employer.”
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said that the union “warmly welcomes” the Report and its conclusions
“Surely now, the Government must listen to and take heed of the conclusions of this most high-level, cross-party Parliamentary Committee,” he added.
“We insist that the Crown closure and privatisation programme be stopped, that the Network Subsidy Payment be extended beyond 2021 and that our postmasters be fairly remunerated.”
And our union’s deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger added his support for the Committee’s demands, saying: “The BEIS Committee consists of Members of Parliament from across the House and their Report and Recommendations are absolutely what this business needs.”
Terry added: “As well as calling for the full implementation of this Report, we also continue to insist also that the Post Office must be restored fully as an integral part of Royal Mail Group.”