Thank you to all those who contacted me about service reductions at Royal Mail customer service points (CSPs).
It was pleasing that, following pressure from MPs and campaigning from the CWU, Royal Mail said it had decided to maintain the current estate of CSPs.
However, Royal Mail has reduced the opening hours of around half of CSPs. Concerns that have been raised on this issue including, for example, that Royal Mail could use a reduction in the number of people using CSPs as a result of the changed opening hours to justify their closure in future.
When pressed by MPs on matters such as this, the Government argues that provision of Royal Mail CSPs is an operational matter for the business, but I will nevertheless continue to monitor this issue, keeping in mind the important points raised by constituents.
More widely, there are significant concerns regarding the management of Royal Mail. It is worrying that, last year, Royal Mail’s board led the company to losses of £1 million a day, just six months after reporting huge profits and paying out £567 million in dividends and a share buyback. This puts at risk the stability the company needs to modernise and remain competitive.
It is also worrying that Royal Mail has asked the Government to cut Saturday letter deliveries from the universal service obligation. The Government needs to launch an inquiry into the management of Royal Mail and the risks facing the postal service.
Royal Mail is a cherished institution, and its staff are essential workers. We must ensure it has a successful, long-term future.
We need the Government to support the partnership between management, workers and their trade union – that is the best way to achieve lasting success for our postal services. The Government must also guarantee that the universal service obligation is secure for the future and will continue to be provided by Royal Mail in a way that is affordable, accessible and financially sustainable.