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Postal Services: Rural Areas

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 284581, tabled on 2 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support postmasters in rural areas.

Answered on

9 September 2019

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices and postmasters play in rural communities and for small businesses across the UK. This is why in its 2017 manifesto the Government committed to safeguarding the post office network and protect existing rural services.

Around 6,100 of the 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK are located in rural areas and 3,200 are classified as community branches, meaning that they are the last shop in the village. Government recognises the unique challenges of running a community branch and supports the postmasters who run them with fixed remuneration in addition to the remuneration they receive for transactions. Post Office Limited recently announced they will increase fixed remuneration for all community branches and will also bring forward to August increases in remuneration for handling cash deposits. Finally, to explore what more can be done to support all postmasters, we have convened a quarterly working group meeting with Post Office Limited and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters (NFSP). The focus of the working group is ensuring that running a Post Office becomes an even more attractive business proposition for current and prospective postmasters.