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Royal Mail Services (Gloucestershire)

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

The Petition of the Mayor of Wotton-under-Edge Town Council on behalf of the Community of Wotton-under-Edge and hinterland,

Declares that the community of Wotton-under-Edge and its hinterland wish the Royal Mail Sorting Office in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, to remain open;

Further declares that there has been overwhelming support from the community for the Sorting Office to remain in Wotton-under-Edge, an independent Market Town of 5,700 people with a hinterland of villages, who are struggling to keep shops and services going;

Notes that Cam Sorting Office is a 14-mile return trip from Wotton-under-Edge, and that the area is poorly served by public transport; further notes that the town has an ageing population who would struggle to collect undelivered mail; further notes that there is concern for the postmen and women who will have to make this extra journey with all its ramifications of financial and environmental cost.

Further declares that the community is worried by the detrimental effect the closure will have on the economic well-being of the town and particularly its business community; further declares that the town is already suffering through the recession and could well see further job losses as a consequence;

Notes that much of the data and other information supplied by Royal Mail is incorrect and has continued to be used despite the town’s attempts to amend it; further notes that the Royal Mail has undertaken no meaningful consultation with the community, having only spoken to three people invited to the Sorting Office.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to act to ensure on behalf of the people of Wotton-under-Edge and surrounding villages that the Sorting Office remains open and the service is not moved to the village of Cam, Gloucestershire.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Official Report, 9 March 2009; Vol. 489, c. 128 .]

[P000325]

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

The restructuring and modernisation of Royal Mail’s sorting office operations is a matter for Royal Mail’s management. The Government does not intend to intervene in management decisions of this kind.

Given that volumes of mail are expected to fall by 5 to 7 per cent. each year due to people using digital communications to meet their needs, it is vitally important that Royal Mail structures its operations as efficiently as possible so that it can secure its future and continue to provide the universal postal service at affordable prices.

Royal Mail has given assurances that changes to mail services to the Wotton-under-Edge area will be completed with minimal disruption to customers and staff.