Senator Michael D'Arcy has welcomed the continued commitment by all stakeholders to the future of post offices. Following last week’s meeting with the Minister of Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, the Irish Postmasters Union (IPU) has been asked to make a detailed submission to the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy setting out its recommendations. Our post offices are a vital and essential part of urban and rural communities, both from the perspectives of service provision and the welfare and financial services that they provide.
Gorey Post Office provides valuable services to the local community
For these reasons, the cooperation of all government departments with An Post and the Postmasters Union is urgently needed to develop a new and viable strategy. Taking into account my previous commitment to a sustainable future for the post office network, I welcome the recent news that the IPU will be given the opportunity to submit a detailed report on how the long-term sustainability of the network can be secured.
It was confirmed at the recent meeting that the post and pay partnership between Tesco and An Post will be limited to a pilot of ten sites, followed by a report on the scheme. In addition to this An Post has a welfare delivery contract with the Department of Social Protection for 2016.
I encourage all public sector stakeholders to work towards securing new business opportunities to help maintain the post office network at the heart of national and local community life. An example of an opportunity missed was the Driving Licence Application Service tender. My concern is that the terms and conditions of the tender might have precluded the application of the Post Office Service.
The recent meeting between the IPU and Minister Rabbitte has been a positive step forward and allows for a migration programme to be reviewed so the Post Office service remains a vital and sustainable community entity.