We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Post Office Closures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:38 pm on 15th May 2002.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness) 3:38 pm, 15th May 2002

I shall try to answer that general question with a specific answer. In one of my first conversations with David Mills after his appointment as CEO of Post Office Counters Ltd., he drew a clear parallel between the present availability and range of products in sub-post offices and those in an equivalent banking facility. To sustain the margin for sub-postmasters in rural communities, which often have small outlets, we must ensure that the margin is appropriate for the number of products stocked in the institution. To that extent, exactly the expertise and leadership that David Mills has brought to bear within the bank could be of direct relevance to some of the individual sub-post offices about which the hon. Gentleman expresses concern.

I would make a further point, however. It is a matter of regret that, over time, relations between individual sub-postmasters and the management of Post Office Counters Ltd. have not been as fruitful and co-operative as they might have been. Among other things, I hope that David Mills will rise to the challenge of ensuring that there is confidence throughout the network of sub-post offices that someone in Consignia is batting for them and arguing the case for the network. That is why the Secretary of State ensured not only that, for the first time, we appointed a chief executive to the network, but that he had a place on the main board of Consignia.