The Post Office could be mutualised under plans being put forward by the Government.
The Postal Services Bill, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, proposes powers necessary to transfer ownership from the Government to Post Office stakeholders.
Business Secretary Vince Cable says: “I’m concerned that the current structure of the company is holding the network back. The interests of the central holding company and locally owned branches are not always aligned.”
Co-operatives UK has been asked to look at options for creating a mutualised Post Office and any new structure would would be subject to public consultation.
Cable says: “I want to start a conversation about how it is run in the future, but it seems to me that the Post Office is ideally suited to a John Lewis or Co-operative Group style structure – where employees, sub postmasters and communities get a greater say in how the company is run.”
The new structure would have certain safeguards placed in its constitution. BIS suggest this could mean an obligation to work in the public interest and not for short-term profits or not being able to sell shares in the mutual.
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Newby called for Northern Rock to be remutualised during the party’s conference in Liverpool.