Politicians are often criticised for not using modern methods to engage with the public. This is a fair criticism – we should be doing so much better.

I’m pleased, then, that the Commons Business and Enterprise Committee, which I chair, has launched an innovative web-forum on the future of the post office network to make sure we hear the public’s views.

We are looking at how best to secure the future of the network by offering new services through post offices. We wanted to extend this opportunity to every customer of the network, and the web-forum is a good way to do this. Indeed, with the growth in competition from on-line services, we may also hear from people who have stopped using their post office, but could be lured back.

After all, it is the individual users of the Post Office, past, present and future, and not just the Government or Parliament, who should shape the service to suit their needs

The forum can be viewed by visiting:

We want as many people to participate in our forum as possible. The independent, all-party, nature of the Select Committee system – and the fact that the Government actually invited us to do this inquiry - means that the public can be confident their views will be taken into account when we report in the summer.

We want people to be as creative as they like – in fact, the more creative the better! It will be open for six weeks and is already proving its worth.

And if you want to support your local post office directly, you can always write a good old-fashioned letter to me at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, and then pop down and buy a stamp!

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