Report on Post Office mutualisation
commissioned report has been published on how best to transfer Post
Office Ltd from Government ownership into a mutual run for the
The proposals in the report by Co-operatives UK, the trade
association for co-operative enterprises, would give the local
owners of Post Office branches - the subpostmasters - together with
employees, charities, customers and local communities, a much
greater say in how the network is run.
In recent months Co-operatives UK have been seeking views from the
National Federation of SubPostmasters, retailers, business
organisations and a range of experts. They examined employee owned
mutuals like John Lewis and customer owned mutuals like the
Co-operative Group, and concluded that a hybrid of these two
structures would work best for Post Office Ltd.
Co-operatives UKís Secretary General, Ed Mayo said:- "We want
to see a first class not a second class Post Office. A mutual,
rather than a state-owned, Post Office is one way to achieve that,
because over time it can let the people who have the greatest
interest in the network share in its success. We welcome the
imagination that the Government has shown, but also the
understanding of Ministers that this needs careful design and open
consultation to succeed. Co-operative businesses, for example, are
thriving at present, but in itself being a mutual is not enough. You
need to find ways to use the model, with its dispersed ownership,
ethical values and opportunities for commitment and loyalty, to
create commercial and social advantage. With input from all the key
interested parties, we have therefore identified a model for how
Post Office Ltd, now owned by the state, can become the Post Office
Mutual, operating in the public interest."
Minister for Postal Affairs Edward Davey said:- "I welcome
this comprehensive report - it paints an exciting picture of what a
mutualised Post Office Ltd could look like. A radical shakeup to
combine elements of John Lewis and Co-operative Groupís ownership
arrangements would give those who know the Post Office best -
subpostmasters, franchise partners, staff and the communities they
serve - a real say in how the Post Office is run. Mutualisation will
only work if the key parties involved want to make it happen and
believe it to be the best way forward - it is not something which
can be imposed from above by the Government. So we will carefully
consider this report before launching a public consultation later
this year so that everyone can have their say."
Ministers are concerned that the Post Office is being held back by
the current structure of Post Office Ltd, the Government owned
company that develops and provides products and services which are
delivered through the UKís 11,500 Post Office branches.
There is often tension between the interests of the Post Office Ltd
and privately owned local branches which make up 97% of the network.
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 wonít share in the profits.
Ministers believe that transferring ownership of Post Office Ltd -
not the privately owned individual branches - to a mutual could
better align these interests and help secure a positive future for
the network. Last year the Government asked Co-operatives UK to
explore the proposal in detail.
Co-operatives UKís key recommendations are:-
The Post Office would be owned, ultimately, by its members
Those delivering the service, such as employees and subpostmasters,
and representatives of those receiving the service - such as
consumer, charitable and community groups - should all have the
chance to become members of the Post Office mutual
The option of every Post Office customer being allowed to become a
member of the network should stay open, but may not be
cost-effective, in terms of governance arrangements, for the first
phase of operation
The Post Office should still be run on a day to day basis by a Board
of Directors and Non-Executive Directors. But this Board will be
answerable to and appointed by a forum that is representative of the
Government has a key role to play, not least in supporting the
delivery of public services through the network, but it should not
be a member or owner. Its relationship should be a contractual
and/or regulatory one
The core purpose of the Post Office is to operate for the public
benefit and this should be entrenched, with legal safeguards, for
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 conduct a full public consultation later
this year. There are protections in place in the Postal Services
Bill to ensure that a mutual Post Office will always be run for the
► Last year (2010) the
Government announced £1.34 billion of funding for the Post Office,
to maintain and modernise the network. Mutualisation would not
prevent the Government from providing further funding in the future.
UKís report is available here:-
us your views on this topic to our newsroom
Help your local street in its battle to be crowned Britainís Best
glowing with pride after the city was selected to host the Olympic
Flame as part of the build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games.
The iconic symbol is set to arrive in the city on Friday, 1 June
2012, and plans are underway for a special evening celebration event
to take place at the Pier Head to mark the unique occasion.
Liverpool is one of 66 locations across the UK confirmed today by
the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and
Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
The evening events will offer thousands of people the opportunity to
come together and get involved in celebrations and share in the
Olympic spirit. As part of the events LOCOG and the Presenting
Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will stage exciting
entertainment shows where a cauldron will be lit from the Olympic
Flame, marking the end of the dayís proceedings.
Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said:-
"Liverpool is a city world-renowned for its sporting prowess and
itís fitting we have been selected to take part in this prestigious
event. The city is no stranger to hosting high profile sporting
events in many fields including tennis, badminton, netball, golf and
sailing, and weíre proud that the city is part of the warm-up to the
worldís greatest sporting competition! Weíre already looking at ways
to celebrate the arrival of the torch in the city, but what we can
say at this stage is that it will be a memorable evening during
which our communities can become part of the buzz around the Olympic
The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday, 18
May 2012, and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Landís End,
Cornwall on the morning of the 19 May 2012. On leaving Landís End,
it is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK,
giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to
shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep. It will arrive
at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the
cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London
2012 Olympic Games.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said:- "We are thrilled that
Liverpool has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right
across the UK. The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across
Liverpool celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and
showcasing the very best of the city. We have no doubt that the
welcome we receive will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic
Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the
start of the 2012 Games draws closer."
The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000
inspirational Torchbearers and once the detailed daily route is
confirmed later this year, it is the aim that 95% of the population
will be within a one hour journey time, of the London 2012 Olympic
LOCOG is seeking 8,000 of the most inspirational people to have
their moment to shine next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame.
The LOCOG Torchbearer programme is on the hunt for 2,012
inspirational people who have gone beyond their personal best!
Residents are asked to nominate someone by visiting:-
and writing 150 words on why their nominee should carry the iconic
symbol. It is hoped more than half the torchbearers will be young
people, between 12 and 24 - plus the other half will be those who
inspire young people.
The deadline for nominations is 11.59pm on Wednesday, 29 June 2011.
Judging panels will be set up in each region of the UK
to select the Torchbearers for their area.
90% of the 8,000 Torchbearer places will be made available to the
public through a number of channels including the four public
nomination campaigns to be run by LOCOG, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and
Samsung. Each of the 8,000 Torchbearers will have a story of
achievement and/or contribution to their local community.
FUNDRAISER CALLS ĎACTION!í FOR SOUTHPORT CHARITY CAMPAIGN
fundraiser is putting people in Southport under the spotlight and
asking them to reveal their inner movie star for movie-based
fundraising campaign, ĎAt the Moviesí.
Charles Horton, Volunteer Fundraising Manager for the muscle-wasting
disease charity the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, is encouraging the
people of Southport to get glamorous and hold their own
movie-related fundraiser in aid of the charity.
Speaking about the brand new initiative, Charles said:- "We
are excited to launch ĎAt the Moviesí and hope that local people
will get involved in some film themed fundraising. This could be
anything from a film quiz to a dress like a star day at work or even
a special film screening. I hope that lots of people will sign up to
organise their own glamorous ĎAt the Moviesí event and Iím here to
support you every step of the way."
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign helps people all over the UK who are
affected by muscle disease.
Money raised through
At the Movies will go towards helping the 70,000 babies, children
and adults with muscle wasting conditions in the UK.
ĎAt The Moviesí is a fundraiser that everyone can take part
in, and participants will be sent a pack with everything they need
to get started.
For more information
or call our fundraising hotline on:- 0845 872 9058.