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Post Office Network — [James Gray in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:44 am on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 10:44 am, 10th March 2020

I apologise. The Minister has already spoken to the Post Office’s newly appointed chief executive, and has been assured that a major overhaul of the Post Office’s engagement and relationships with postmasters is progressing.

The Government will continue to monitor and proactively challenge the Post Office leadership and will hold it to account on its progress. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking at what more needs to be done, and it will outline the next steps in due course.

Mention has been made of postmaster relationships and remuneration; in 2019, after a six-month review of postmaster pay, Post Office Ltd announced an additional pay increase of £37 million per annum. A question was asked about subsidy payments; beyond 2020, Government remain committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the network with Post Office Ltd.

To conclude, let me reassure Members that Government recognise the value and importance of postmasters and post offices to communities, people and businesses in rural and urban parts of the UK. We will continue to safeguard the post office network to ensure that post offices can thrive at the heart of communities across the country. I thank hon. Members again for their contributions to this excellent debate and for their hard work supporting access to post office services for our constituents.