Post Office Network

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 28th June 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Byers Stephen Byers Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 3:30 pm, 28th June 2000

My hon. Friend raises an important point. There is no doubt that, as we map out a programme of genuine change for the post office network, we need Post Office Counters managers who will be able to take advantage of the new opportunities. Some new management has already been put in place, and we are beginning to experience benefits from that.

The Powercard problem was a Scottish matter, but it shows the way in which mistakes can adversely affect post offices, communities and individuals. They should not be repeated in future. We will therefore ask the Post Office, with Post Office Counters, to prepare business plans and make detailed proposals so that the Government can ensure that we are discharging our responsibilities to the post office network and the communities that it serves. If we can move together in a genuine partnership, we shall be in a strong position to meet the challenges that lie ahead.