UK Post Office aims to be “a sustainable and sought-after franchise” by 2025
Two serving Postmasters have been elected to the UK Post Office Board as Non-Executive Directors for the first time in the Post Office’s 360-year history.
Saf Ismail who operates six post offices (five in Lancashire – Blackpool Road, Bolton, Heywood, New Hall Lane, Plungington Road) and Farnworth, Greater Manchester; and Elliot Jacobs who operates seven post offices (five in London – Camden, Crouch End, East Finchley, Muswell Hill, Stoke Newington) and Hertford and Potters Bar in Hertfordshire received the most votes.
There were six candidates contesting the election and the electorate, made up of around 8,000 serving Postmasters and multiple partners, were asked to place two crosses on their ballot for the candidates they wanted to elect. The election process was run independently by Civica Elections Services.
The appointments are a key milestone in the sustained reset of the relationship between Post Office and Postmasters that places them front and centre of the business. Following approval by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Saf Ismail and Elliott Jacobs will formally join the Post Office board after an induction and training programme.
Tim Parker, Chairman of the Post Office, said: “We have ambitious plans to unlock the Post Office’s potential so that by 2025 we are a sustainable and sought-after franchise. Having two serving Postmasters on our Board will help ensure our strategic direction is rooted in the reality of their experience and needs. It sends the clearest signal yet of our determination to ensure Postmasters are at the heart of our business.”
Postal Affairs Minister Paul Scully said: “Postmasters are at the very heart of the Post Office and should rightly have a strong voice at the very highest level in the organisation. Saf Ismail and Elliot Jacobs will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience as postmasters to the Post Office board, and their insight will be invaluable as the Post Office seeks to reset its relationship with postmasters.”
Induction and training
In keeping with the responsibilities Non-Executive Directors have in a franchise business, the role requires consideration of three audiences: the franchisees (Postmasters), the franchisor (Post Office Ltd) and the shareholder (UK Government) in promoting the interests of the company as a whole. The Postmasters appointed to the role will receive an extensive induction and training programme, covering the corporate and legal aspects of fulfilling the duties of a Non-Executive Director.
Nick Read, Chief Executive of Post Office, said: “I want to thank all six candidates for putting themselves forward for election and for a great campaign. Each had clear views about the challenges of running a Post Office and what needs to change to enable them to operate successfully, which is encouraging as we develop new ways of engaging with Postmasters. The independent panel made up of James Lowman, Shirine Khoury-Haq and Jean Church MBE ensured a strong set of candidates were on the ballot paper and I am grateful for their involvement in the first election to the Board in our 360-year history.”