Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The future of our local post offices are under threat with the Coalitions Privatisation plans

The Postal Services Bill means post offices could lose all their Royal Mail business (a third of their income)

o Coalition has also dropped Labour’s plans for a Postbank – another LibDem manifesto pledge broken

o The promises of extra government work meaningless without bankable contracts – no guarantee even of getting DWP contract renewed

o With this outlook subpostmasters will be looking to get out as soon as possible, with nothing to attract in new entrants – a backdoor closure programme.

Our local post offices and postal services are at risk

The Conservative – Lib Dem Government’s plans to privatise the Royal Mail put in jeopardy the future of local post offices. Post offices cannot survive without a guarantee of the business that they get from Royal Mail.

The Coalition is determined to sell Royal Mail without legislating for any long term commitment to post offices.

At the moment the Royal Mail has an agreement to use the post office network for its counter services. But this is under threat.

Government plans could mean a privatised Royal Mail choosing to use other outlets for its counter services, such as supermarkets or a high street chain, and could easily cut down the number of outlets to town centres only.

This would deprive the post office network of up to a third of its income, and would put thousands of post offices at risk.

I will be fighting this move and voting against it in parliament. I don’t want the Coalition to put at risk our much loved national institution and leave people in Haslingden and Hyndburn without a decent postal service.

Royal Mail and the Post Office are being put at risk by the Governments Postal Services Bill:

1. Empty promises of extra work from Government departments and local authorities are not worth having unless they are turned into solid bankable contracts.

2. But the Coalition can’t even guarantee post offices will keep the contract for the Department for Work and Pension payments.

3. One of the best things about our postal service is that you pay one price to send a stamped letter anywhere in Britain. But the Government also cannot guarantee that the “Universal Service Obligation” will continue.