I’ve joined forces with Walkley Councillor Tom Hunt, to press Ministers to ensure the viability of local post offices.
In a letter to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Kevin Hollinrake MP, we’ve urged the Government to talk to the Royal Mail on their contracts with local post offices.
Our letter came following a visit to a local sub-postmaster in Councillor Hunt’s Walkley ward, who had revealed losses of around £5,000 in first two months of this year, compared with the same period last year, as a result of changes in the relationship with the Royal Mail – after cyber-attacks on the Royal Mail had led them to change their services to the detriment of sub-post offices.
We’re concerned that the changing business model of Royal Mail may lead to fewer services being commissioned from local post offices, which sub-postmasters fear will undermine their long-term sustainability. I’ve said that “Local post offices are at the heart of our communities and our high streets. Lots of people rely on them and so do local businesses. The Government split the Royal Mail from the Post Office and privatised them both, but they can’t wash their hands of them. The Government must support our post offices or risk losing them.”
Tom Hunt has added: “The cyberattack on the Royal Mail had a major impact on our post offices. Our visit to a local post office showed how they have been hit hard by changes to their contract. The Government, the Royal Mail and the Post Office must urgently put a plan in place to provide our hardworking sub-postmasters with the support they need.”