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Post Office Services (Shropshire)

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

The Petition of users of the sorting office in Church Stretton,

Declares that the proposed closure of the sorting office in Church Stretton will have a detrimental effect on the lives of local residents; further declares that the Sorting Office is an important and efficient element of the local community, supporting both private residents and businesses; notes that a majority of local residents are elderly and large numbers are dependent on public transport; further notes that such residents would find it difficult and costly to travel eight miles down the A49 to Craven Arms (a town half the size of Church Stretton) to collect parcels; further notes that this journey would also be highly inconvenient and inefficient for the growing number of businesses dependent on computer sales; and believes that if closed there would be difficulties for local postmen and women, delayed local deliveries, uncertainties and difficulties over collecting parcels, inconvenience, possible job losses, a lack of space for parcels in the Post Office in Spar, another empty building on the industrial estate, and another nail in the coffin of local democracy.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to recognise the threat posed to the community of Church Stretton by the proposed closure of the local sorting office, and to take action to ensure the sorting office is retained.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Philip Dunne, Official Report, 5 May 2009; Vol. 492, c. 143 .]

[P000361]

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 and it is not appropriate for Government to intervene.

Given that volumes of mail are expected to fall by as much as 10 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 in the Church Stretton area will be completed with minimal disruption to customers and staff.