40136 - Ian Murray - 09-Jun-2016 (Answered)

Ian Murray
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on (a) businesses and (b) local communities in Scotland of the decision to allow the closure of Post Office branches in Scotland and their replacement by franchises.

George Freeman

Post Office Limited runs and operates its directly managed Crown post offices. Changes to its network and proposals to franchise of some of its Crown branches are the operational responsibility of the Post Office. The Post Office’s proposals for franchising some of its Crown branches are part of its work to ensure its branch network is sustainable in the long term and ensure that Post Office services remain on our high streets across the country. The change from a Crown to a franchise branch has been undertaken successfully in many locations across the UK and helps sustain Post Office services in these locations, and each change is subject to local consultation.

Over 97% of the UK’s post office network is run on a franchise or agency basis.