"Welcome to my second video, two months on since the one I filmed in the first week of joining the Post Office, and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everybody who has made me feel so welcome – sending me emails, sending me ideas, challenges, opportunities but also it has given me a chance to get out into branches and meet postmasters and their teams and get a view of some of the things that they want me, and you want me, to address over the coming weeks and months.
"I thought I’d try and reflect a little bit on those two months and some specifics that have come to mind. I think first and foremost it’s the passion and enthusiasm that I have seen from postmasters and as I said in my very first video, that’s something that I want to make sure that we capture and develop and move forward with. And I think there are a couple of specific areas that postmasters are speaking to me about. One is the resetting of the culture and making sure the relationship between the centre and the postmasters is front and centre, and I absolutely want that to be the case. And more importantly, what I’ve learnt over the last couple of months is there are some fantastic ideas out there in the network, and one of the things I want to do is more formally capture those ideas so we’ll be setting up a survey over the coming weeks that is going to help me shape the purpose, the strategy and the vision for this business because I recognise that with our valued commercial partners – the postmasters – you have the ideas and I want to be able to put those into practice.
"There have also been a number of pieces of good news that I thought I would reflect on. The first of course is Barclays reversing their decision around the banking framework. I think its great news that we now have all 28 banks in banking framework too and a fantastic opportunity to drive more commercial value.
"The second one is agents’ remuneration. I am absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to announce an additional £20 million starting in 2020, which combined with the £17 million that we announced earlier in the year, will bring a combined total of £37 million worth of additional pay. I think it fairly reflects the contribution that postmasters are making to the Post Office and I hope that this is the start of a great relationship, and a great commercial relationship between the Post Office and its agents.
"And the third piece is obviously British Gas which is new news today. We have a 5-year contract with British Gas which will drive 1.8 million British Gas and Scottish Gas customers into our branches. More opportunity to cross sell and upsell and to drive transactions.
"So it’s now only 6 weeks until Christmas and I’ve got two major focuses. One to get out into branches and to speak to more postmasters and to understand better some of your challenges, and I’ve encouraged my Group Executive team to do exactly the same so instead of just specific golden days we are going to try and cover as much of the estate and as much of the network as we possibly can. And secondly it’s to push on with my purpose, strategy and growth work that I propose to conclude in January and specifically want to come out and speak to postmasters about the direction of travel, about the future vision of the Post Office for the next 5 to 10 years and making sure we as a team can drive this business forward.
"Thanks very much. I look forward to seeing you between now and Christmas and I hope all goes well."