The future of the left since 1884

Here Today: The uncertain future of the Post Office network

The privatisation of Royal Mail now makes a consideration of the long-term future of both the Post Office network and Royal Mail an urgent priority. The government should therefore prioritise plans to use the Post Office to provide a greater number of services.


The local Post Office and the red pillar box are both long standing symbols of community life in Britain. The future for both is very uncertain. The prospects for the Post Office have not been part of the discussion about Royal Mail privatisation. But with a third of Post Office income dependent on Royal Mail, the fate of both organisations is intimately linked.

This report models nine scenarios for the future of the Post Office network. In only one of the scenarios does the Post Office network have anything resembling a secure future. This will come as troubling news for the communities all over the country for whom the local Post Office is a crucial public service; a glue which binds citizens and state together.

In such a climate of uncertainty, ‘Here Today’ concludes that government has been reckless to relinquish a controlling stake in Royal Mail. To ensure the survival of the Post Office, the report recommends that the government delays any further reduction in its stake in Royal Mail to retain influence over its operations.

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Natan Doron

Natan Doron is a former senior researcher at the Fabian Society.


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