George had a number of ideas that would make running post offices more profitable and avoid closures. In particular he hoped that more government functions such as the verification and processing of benefit claims could be run by local post offices. He also was adamant that Post Office Limited had to be left in a strong position prior to its splitting from Royal Mail.
There are a large number of myths around the privatisation of Royal Mail. The privatisaiton of Royal Mail will NOT lead to post office closures, Post Office Ltd and Royal Mail are separate businesses and Post Office Ltd is NOT for sale. Further a privatised Royal Mail will be regulated to ensure that it provides a universal postal service – that is delivery and collection six days per week at uniform and affordable prices.
The number of items being sent by post has fallen by 15% in the last five years and is predicted to fall by a further 25-40% over the next five years. If Royal Mail is to survive, it desperately needs an injection of cash to help it modernise further and faster to help it improve its profitability in a highly competitive market. However, if the privatisation of Royal Mail does go ahead it is essential that it is done in a way that ensures a viable future for the Post Office network that does so much to provide both essential services and social cohesion to local communities.