White welcomes Irish Postmaster Union’s decision on election candidates
Minister for Communications Alex White has welcomed the Irish Postmasters Union’s (IPU) decision to focus on the implementation of the Bobby Kerr report into the future viability of post offices, rather than fielding candidates in the forthcoming general election.
Minister White said: “I established the Post Office Business Development Group, under Bobby Kerr’s chairmanship, to identify new business opportunities for the post office network. I have made a commitment to maintain the momentum in addressing the challenges facing the network, particularly smaller post offices in rural Ireland. In particular, I said I would immediately establish a post office network renewal process, which will conclude its work within six months. I welcome the IPUs decision to put all its energies into this process, which is the best route to ensuring that the post office network, which we all value very highly, remains relevant and successful.
“My colleague, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development, Ann Phelan, is also working on a nationwide pilot to identify the potential for local post offices to act as ‘hubs’ to facilitate other services such as health and transport.”
Minister White established the Post Office Business Development Group in January 2015 to explore potential commercial opportunities available to the post office network. The group was chaired by Bobby Kerr and its membership comprised the Irish Postmasters Union (IPU), An Post, the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, the Minister of State for Rural Economic Development and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Minister White received its final report in December 2015.