The Coalition Government’s plans to privatise the Royal Mail are putting in jeopardy the future of local post offices in the Rother Valley.
Empty promises of extra work from Government departments and local authorities are not worth having unless they are turned into solid bankable contracts. The Government can’t guarantee post offices will keep the contract for the Department for Work and Pension payments. Post offices cannot survive without an assurance of the business that they get from Royal Mail.
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.
The Coalition seems determined to sell Royal Mail without legislating for any long term commitment to post offices. These plans are a real threat to our local post offices.
At the moment the Royal Mail has an agreement to use the post office network for its counter services, but this is also now under threat. Such proposals could mean a privatised Royal Mail choosing to use other outlets for its counter services, including 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 potentially at risk.