The rural post office network

Today the National Federation of Subpostmasters is organising a rally at Westminister Central Hall and a mass lobbying of MPs, as well as presenting to 10 Downing Street a petition signed by 4 million people. What’s it all about?
It’s about the future of the rural post office network. We still have around 14,300 post offices nationwide – well down on the figure of 21,300 some 20 years ago. Almost 8,000 of these are in rural areas and 90% of them lose money and only continue thanks to a government subsidy of £150M that is due to end in 18 months time.
I’ll be at the rally all morning on behalf of Postwatch, the consumer watchdog for postal services, and I gave an interview on the subject at 12.30 am last night to BBC’s Radio Five Live. Both the NFSP and Postwatch want a clear government statement on the role, size and funding of the network with proper consultation on the policy and individual closures.
Footnote: I went along to the NFSP rally simply to sit on the stage, since the Postwatch speaker – our chair Millie Banerjee – could be there only for her actual speech. However, the programme ran ahead of itself and I was asked to address the rally to fill in some time. Also I gave a lunchtime interview to BBC News 24 and another interview to BBC Radio Five Live about 6.15 pm. That makes 34 media interviews for Postwatch since I joined in April.