The Government have been clear in "The Coalition: our programme for government" that we will ensure that post offices are allowed to offer a wide range of services in order to sustain the network, and we will look at the case for developing new sources of revenue, such as the creation of a Post Office Bank.
Since 2001, when the Royal Mail (which includes Post Office Ltd) was set up as a public limited company with the Government as its only shareholder, Government have adopted an arm's-length relationship with the company so that it has the commercial freedom to run its business operations without interference from the shareholder. The precise location of post office branches is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd.
Post Office Ltd has advised that the Burnhead branch has been operated by a temporary agent following the resignation of the previous sub-postmaster. Post Office Ltd has now appointed a permanent agent to enable post office services to continue in the area on a longer-term basis, following a local public consultation. Post office services will be incorporated into the local convenience store in Uddingston, about half a mile from the current branch.
Declares that England is one of very few countries in the world that does not have a public holiday to celebrate its national day; notes that St Patrick's Day is bank holiday in Northern Ireland, and that St Andrew's Day is a voluntary public holiday in Scotland; and further declares that everyone who is part of England should be able to celebrate its traditions, its history, its heritage and the English way of life with a public holiday on St George's Day.
Public Holidays through the EU and across the UK reflect differing histories, cultures and traditions. The suggestion of a bank holiday in England to celebrate St George's Day on 23 April is one that has been made on a number of occasions in recent years. However, there have also been other suggestions in this area, for instance a proposal for a new "British Day" after Remembrance Sunday to celebrate the contribution of the Armed Forces.
All such proposals must, however, be seen in the context of the practical implications of the introduction of an additional bank holiday, in particular the significant costs it would entail for employers. The Government therefore have no current plans to change the current pattern of bank holidays which is well established and accepted, but are grateful to her for taking the time to submit her views.