The government has defended the new Post Office Local model to a group of MPs.
Responding to a list of concerns made by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee over the sustainability of the network, including its Transformation Programme and roll-out of the new model, the government rubbished claims that “quality, service and value-for-money” would be reduced.
In its recommendations, the committee claimed the government’s research on the Local model was “narrowly focused”, concentrating only on pilots where there had previously been no post office and there was no evidence base to gauge its success.
In response, the government asserted that the research covered both on-site and off-site conversions and that customer satisfaction was consistently well above 90%.
The committee also expressed concern over multiple retailers running the majority of Post Office outlets, following reports that One Stop, owned by Tesco, expressed interest in taking over 600 branches. The government said that there was currently a “positive mix of independent and multiple operators”.
The government did pledge to “ensure that Post Office Ltd continues to monitor the performance of the model, and to make changes should a need become apparent” and agreed that staff training on Post Office Local was vital to the success of the network. Earlier this year, the Post Office announced a “whole new approach to training”, with a focus on part-time staff.