Updated over every
Wednesday night for every Thursday.
Your news... Your words...
14 October 2010
UK's Post Office could be mutualised???
Government, on 13 October 2010, has put forward an innovative
proposal that could see Post Office Ltd turned into a mutual, giving
power to staff, sub postmasters and communities.
The announcement was made as the Government put its plans before
Parliament to secure vibrant futures for two cornerstones of British
life – the Royal Mail and the Post Office.
Post Office Ltd is currently 100% owned by the Government and will
not be for sale. The Postal Services Bill, which will be scrutinised
and debated by Parliament in the coming months, proposes powers to
transfer ownership to a mutual. Embodying the principles of the
Government’s Big Society agenda, this proposal would give those who
know the Post Office best – subpostmasters, staff and the
communities they serve - a say in how the Post Office is run. The
Bill includes protections to ensure that the Post Office will always
be run for the public benefit.
The Postal Services Bill and an accompanying policy statement which
explains the Government’s approach have been published
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:- “Post Offices continue
to play a vital social role in the heart of local communities and
remain an incredibly important resource. There will be no repeat of
the previous Government’s closure programmes. But I’m concerned that
the current structure of the company is holding the network back.
The interests of the central holding company and locally owned
branches are not always aligned. So, for example, subpostmasters are
pitted against Post Office Ltd when they negotiate annual pay rates.
And they fear Post Office Ltd expanding online because they worry it
will drive customers away from their stores and that they won’t
share in the profits. I want to start a conversation about how it is
run in the future, but it seems to me that the Post Office is
ideally suited to a John Lewis or Co-operative Group style structure
– where employees, sub postmasters and communities get a greater say
in how the company is run. This would be the Big Society in action.
We’re already seeing how well the mutual model can work at a local
level - across the country there are a growing number of examples of
community groups, charities and local people coming together to
provide Post Office services in their area. A change at a national
level would empower those that know the Post Office best and give
them more of a stake in its future. It could deliver the common
sense of purpose needed to provide a vibrant future for the
Co-operatives UK has been asked to explore options for creating a
mutualised Post Office, reporting back to BIS Ministers next spring.
Before any move to a mutual structure there would also be a full
Peter Hunt, the Chief Executive of Mutuo, said:- "This
proposal could help to secure the future of the Post Office for the
public benefit. As a mutual, the Post Office will be able to harness
the experience and goodwill of its employees, business partners and
its customers. Together they will be part of a practical partnership
that uses all of their skills to design a Post Office for the years
The Government is clear that before any changes can be made, the
network will need to be put on a more secure financial footing, so
that a mutual could build from solid foundations. It believes it is
realistic for the Post Office to be in mutual ownership by the end
of this Parliament and will be making further announcements on this
in due course.
The Government has made the following proposals:-
► The requirements of
the universal postal service – collection and delivery of post six
days a week at uniform, affordable prices are written into the Bill.
The Government has no intention of downgrading them.
► Royal Mail will be able to benefit from an injection of private
capital - ending the dependence on funding from the taxpayer and
bringing new commercial disciplines into the business.
► Alongside private sector investment:-
least 10% of the shares in Royal Mail will go to its employees in
the future. This will be the largest employee share scheme of any
privatisation, larger than British Telecom, British Gas or British
Mail will be relieved of its enormous historic pension deficit by
► As part of a general reform of the regulatory regime for mail, the
existing regulator, Postcomm, will be replaced by Ofcom, the
communications regulator, with the Bill providing for the transfer
of Postcomm's regulatory responsibility and its staff to Ofcom.
► The network of
11,500 Post Office branches is not for sale and there will be no
further programme of closures.
► Could be converted into a mutual structure as part of innovative
new plans to hand the ownership and running of the Post Office to
employees, sub postmasters and local communities.
FAITH SCHOOL HANDED OVER TO ARCHDIOCESE
Faith Primary School has officially been handed over to the
Archdiocese of Liverpool, Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool City
Council, by North West construction firm, Conlon Construction.
The handover took place on Monday, 11 October 2010, marking the end
of an exciting journey for the pupils, who have been involved in the
development of the school since day one – each child kitted out with
their own hard hat and high visibility vest to wear when they were
visiting the site for an update on the project.
Head teacher, Sister Moira Meeghan said:- “The handover was
such an exciting day, the children have really enjoyed being so
involved in the project and it seems a strange thing to say, but it
has been a great learning resource. Working with Conlon
Construction’s site manager, Gordon MacKenzie, we have been able to
access the site safely, teach the children about the importance of
health and safety and an insight into the building process. As
building has progressed, we’ve also been able to use the development
as a way of bringing subjects like maths and science to life.”
construction director at Conlon Construction added:- “This
project has been fantastic to be involved in. Everyone from Faith
School is so enthusiastic and we are delighted to have been able to
deliver such a great building for this community. There are some
interesting features to the school building, including an
eye-catching grass roof and an external amphitheatre, which I’m sure
the children will love.”
Owen Reece, project architect at Cunliffes, commented:- “The
process of reaching this point from the initial briefing in November
2008 has been thoroughly enjoyable and has allowed all parties
involved to positively contribute to the school’s design and also to
the regeneration of a derelict site in an area which is often
overlooked. The building has been designed to function both as a
primary school, with bespoke musical practice facilities and
facilities for staging shows and productions, and as a community
hub, providing adult learning and before/after school clubs.
Strategic zoning of facilities and routes around the site will
ensure that segregation of visitors, pupils and vehicular traffic is
possible at all times, whilst encouraging the possibility of staging
shows and productions with a special emphasis on the pupils, staff
and the Liverpool Philharmonic through the ‘In Harmony’ pilot
The £2.9 million primary school on Prince Edwin Street occupies the
site of the former Campion High School which was demolished in 2008.
Letters To Editor:- "War Memorials"
Reporter Readers, We need to put our war memorials in the news for
the right reasons. They are the most tangible link we have with
those dark years of almost a century ago when, with no repatriation
possible, our forebears had no other means of honouring those they
had lost in the slaughter. Recent abuses involving theft and
urination have caused outrage and disgust but if we care about war
memorials, as we seemingly do, we have to invest in their upkeep if
we are not to ultimately lose them through more mundane; but less
newsworthy - natural erosion and structural problems. With belts
being tightened all round, this will be difficult. However, to mark
the Centenary of the Armistice in a little over eight years, let’s
do what is necessary to make our war memorials clean, safe and
readable - and show that sentiments such as “We Will Remember Them”
and “Lest we Forget” did not fall on deaf ears." Yours
faithfully, Ray Thompson.
Sign up to
our Daily Email News Service BETA Test by
Southport & Mersey Reporter - leading the way for
local news. We where the UK's first online
that are taking place this