I have asked Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, to respond directly to the hon. Member as Royal Mail management has responsibility for the company's operations. A copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mail volumes continue to decline, by 8 per cent. in the first half of the financial year (April to Sept 2009), due to increased use of digital methods of communication. It is vitally important that Royal Mail can structure its operations as efficiently as possible so that it can compete in a competitive communications market while continuing to maintain the universal postal service at affordable prices. Royal Mail and the CWU are currently discussing a wide ranging agreement covering modernisation of the postal network.