Post Offices: Rural Areas

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 31st July 2019.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support rural post offices.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business.

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices play in rural communities across the UK; this is why the Government committed in its 2017 manifesto to safeguard the post office network and enhance the provision of rural services.

Thanks to significant Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010 the overall number of post offices across the UK remains at its most stable in decades with over 11,500 branches. This investment includes the continuation of subsidy payments to support community post offices, the last shop in the village.

In addition, I met with Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the Minister for Rural Affairs, on 26 June 2019 to discuss the key role rural post offices play in communities. It remains a Government priority, as stated in the 2017 Conservative manifesto, to ensure the rural network is protected.

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