1. ITV Report

'Deficiencies' in post office reforms according to minister report

The Government's reforms of the post office network could be undermined by deficiencies in the training of staff and the inflexibility of its proposals, ministers were warned today.

A committee of MPs said reforms were needed, but it raised a number of concerns about how they would be delivered.

Some outlets could become unsustainable if services are reduced under the new "local" model of post office, said the Business Committee.

A number of serious concerns remain, not least with regards to the inflexibility of the proposals, the lack of a programme for delivering government services for the Post Office and deficiencies in the training programme for post office staff.

– Labour MP for West Bromwich West Adrian Bailey

The locals model, under which postal services are offered in stores other than main post offices, could reduce the number of major retailers running outlets, said the report.

"For example, it has been reported that One Stop, which is owned by Tesco, is interested in taking over 600 post offices.

"A full-scale takeover of our post offices by a few companies, with the reduced opportunities for individuals owning post offices, would change the ethos of many post offices," said the report.

There will be no programme of Post Office closures under this Government and we have committed £1.34 billion to maintain the network of at least 11,500 post offices across the country.

– Postal Affairs Minister Norman Lamb