The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has urged its members to contact their MPs to address the mounting concerns of postmasters that the Post Office network is under threat of collapse.
With the income generated from Post Office Limited in decline, postmasters are increasingly falling back on the retail side of their business and are concerned that they can no longer justify continuing this valuable service to the community.
Postmasters receive payment through a combination of individual over-the-counter transactions and target-related payments such as through proper segregation of letters and parcels.
However, postmasters are becoming increasingly concerned that, as footfall drops, so too are the payment for products with no new services to compensate. As Government encourages more services to go online, those most vulnerable and least digitally engaged will come to rely more on the Post Office for support. Postmasters fear they will be unable to bear the cost of this without proper remuneration.
In the letter, the NFSP states “Last year we saw multiple retailers make tough decisions about the viability of their post offices. A retailer of multiple post offices in Scotland announced the closure of 31 post office counters due to seeing less and less benefit in having a post office in their outlet.”
There are also fears that Royal Mail, a separate company since 2012, is actively encouraging the public to bypass the Post Office by offering rival services. This is, according to the NFSP, a breach of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and must be investigated by OFCOM.
In the letter, postmasters are calling for:
Quote from Calum Greenhow – CEO of the NFSP
"This action underlines the NFSP’s commitment to its members, giving them the tools to hold their MPs to account. Postmasters were on the front line providing essential services during the pandemic and as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, now more than ever post offices are needed to provide support for the most vulnerable in our communities. There is so much more we can do, and we are calling on Government to work with postmasters to ensure a viable future for the network
Terry Duffelen – Communications Officer email@example.com
Ruth Buckley-Salmon – Public Affairs Manager Ruth.Buckley-Salmon@nfsp.org.uk
About the NFSP