Home Estate Planning Minister to discuss handing Post Office ownership to workers

Minister to discuss handing Post Office ownership to workers

0 comment

The Post Office minister is set to discuss the possibility of moving to a new ownership structure at a meeting with workers.

Kevin Hollinrake will meet with stakeholders this week, as first reported by Bloomberg, with topics for discussion including the option of a mutually-owned arrangement.

Union representatives and co-operative advocates, including Rose Marley, Co-operatives UK chief executive, will be in attendance, the outlet reported. The Post Office will not be represented at the meeting.

Writing in City A.M. last week, Marley argued in favour of co-ops, writing: “The spotlight has fallen on the societal value of businesses and how they can be run in ways that profit the wider community, including their own staff, as well as profit the company balance sheet. 

“Turn that spotlight and the solution is already here; a solution that provides resilient businesses with huge potential to fix broken systems (and maybe even the Post Office).” 

Under the Postal Service Act of 2011, which sets out its framework in the wake of the privatisation of Royal Mail, the Post Office must be wholly publicly-owned but could be mutualised in future, after the idea was discussed, but ultimately rejected at that time.

This would depend on the organisation’s financial sustainability, but would give it a staff owned model like that of mutual John Lewis, which operates with a partnership structure.

It comes amid the ongoing crisis around the Post Office and Fujitsu’s faulty Horizon software which saw hundreds of sub-postmasters and mistresses wrongly convicted of fraud charges, many of whom are still yet to receive compensation or have their convictions quashed.

Former Post Office boss Paula Vennells, who was forced to hand back her CBE during the outcry following ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post office, will give evidence to the next phase of the official inquiry when it resumes in April, alongside campaigner Alan Bates.

And Post Office chairman Henry Staunton exited his role last weekend, with business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch saying she “felt there was a need for new leadership”.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We are focused on assisting in providing compensation and redress to the victims of a shameful period in Post Office’s history. 

“Post Office cannot fully move forwards until the past is addressed. Over £150m has been paid out to victims so far, and we continue to support the Government in its efforts to speed up justice and compensation for all those who have been wronged.”

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) declined to comment.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?