Recent articles in the Independent suggested that there was a threat to Government funding of Post Office branches already reeling from changes to the way in which we use Post Office services. With a switch to online transactions largely promoted by Royal Mail and the Department for Work & Pensions without the Government subsidy there is a risk to an estimated 2,500 small and mainly rural Post Offices. The plight of the post offices was reported to the Council at the Council meeting on 27th June and followed by a vote on a motion that supported the future funding of post offices by the Government.
It was reported to the Council prior to the vote that the Post Office Minister Kelly Tollhurst had agreed the day before (26th June) that the Government might provide extra funding after the cut off date in April 2021. “If a subsidy is needed we will lobby for one”. So there is at least a prospect of future funding for the “community post offices” depending upon the success of Miss Tollhurst’ lobbying at the Treasuries Spending Review.
At the Council meeting of 27th June a motion was past that commanded a substantial majority calling for the Government subsidy to be extended beyond 2021. We hope therefore that our motion will bolster Miss Tollhurst’ attempt to secure that extra funding. The motion agreed by Council reads as follows:
“This Council believes that it is vital that we secure the future of the Post Office network, especially in rural areas where the Post Office provides banking and postal services to constituents who would otherwise be unable to access them. It resolves to engage our MPs and other key stakeholders on this matter and support calls to extend the Government’s subsidy of the Post Office beyond 2021”