Government Policy . Government: post offices play a vital role in many rural communities' Since 2002 Government support package for the rural post office network = 150 million per annum Encouraged Post Office Ltd to pilot innovative ways of providing postal services in rural areas Support has
1. Mike Feist Sustainability and Rural Affairs Team Government Office for Yorkshire and The Humber RURAL POST OFFICE CLOSURES: THE FACTS
2. Government Policy
Government: ‘post offices play a vital role in many rural communities'
Since 2002 Government support package for the rural post office network = Ł150 million per annum
Encouraged Post Office Ltd to pilot innovative ways of providing postal services in rural areas
Support has enabled network to survive but ‘only 1,500 of the 8,000 rural post offices currently make money’ [Postwatch]
DTI review underway as current support arrangements due to end in 2008.
3. 8,037 of 14,609 post office branches are situated in rural areas 
84% of rural inhabitants live within 1 mile of a post office
2/3rds of villages of 500-1000 inhabitants have a post office
386 rural post offices in England lost 2000-2006
4. Statistics: Yorkshire & The Humber Currently 498 rural post offices
Y&H lost 79 rural post offices [13.7%] 2000-2006
This % decline greater than England average [7.5%] and any other English region. BUT ...
Y&H still has higher number of rural post offices per 10,000 rural population [5 per 10,000] than 3 other regions - East of England, East Midlands and South East
Much greater decline in Y&H urban [25.2%] than rural post offices.
5. Reasons for Decline Post Offices are businesses!
Some income streams diverted from post offices by government departments, and other bodies, e.g. benefits and TV licences
Changes in customers usage:
- 10% of rural customers now use nearest town centre POs [5%, 2001]
- Impact of ICT
Increased running costs
As with any business, post office staff retire, move on etc.
6. The Future Policy lead on post office support: Dept of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Statement from Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry following review due December 2006
Public consultation will follow in 2007.
7. Further Information Report, 2002, on impact of rural post office closures:
Postwatch network policy paper, 2003, on ‘The future of the post office network.
BBC site – Action Network summarising situation on post office closures, 2004.
and ‘What you can do’ :
Postwatch Counters Advisory Group report, July 2006, ‘Recommendations for the future
of the social post office network’
Postcomms' Annual Report, 2005/6; Rural Network pp 65-88
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