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Mail Centre (Coventry)

Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

The Petition of the Communication Workers Union, Coventry Area Branch,

Declares that they do not agree with Royal Mail’s Decision to close the mail centre in Coventry in order to open a new Mail Centre in Northamptonshire instead. They believe that to maintain the quality of service they currently receive, as customers of Royal Mail, Coventry and Warwickshire needs to have a Mail Centre based in Coventry.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government and Royal Mail to rescind its decision to close the Mail Centre in Coventry in 2009 and instead either maintain the Mail Centre at its current location or build a new Mail Centre in Coventry.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Jim Cunningham, Official Report, 18 December 2007; Vol. 469, c. 823 .] [P000096]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform:

Under the Government's postal sector reforms, Royal Mail was given greater commercial freedom as the management and unions wanted. Government has an arm's length relationship as a shareholder and the Board of the company has responsibility for decisions relating to operational matters.

It is for Royal Mail to ensure that its network operations are as efficient as possible to enable it to meet the challenges of changing customer demands and expectations in a liberalised postal market.

Royal Mail believes that the existing mail centres (Coventry and Northampton) do not offer sufficient potential for redevelopment and limit the scope for badly needed automation. Royal Mail's plan is to optimise cost savings while ensuring that the £70 million investment optimises operational efficiency.

Royal Mail have made it clear that quality of service will be maintained and enhanced as a result of any change. The point of these changes is to improve operational efficiency. Postcomm and Postwatch will as a matter of course monitor any effect on quality of service and will quickly raise with Royal Mail any deterioration of service. There is no formal requirement for Royal Mail to consult over this kind of operational change.