Plaid intervenes to save Wales from Royal Mail privatisation

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has intervened in the row over Royal Mail privatisation by unveiling a ‘Welsh way forward’ that would see the UK Government surrender its Welsh postal interests to Wales.

The Party of Wales leader insists that a legal precedent exists for such a move and cited the 1969 Post Office Act. That Act removed postal services from government departmental responsibility to a public corporation and made provision to surrender postal services to the governments of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Ms Wood has written to UK Business Secretary Vince Cable urging him to revive the precedent and make provision for the surrender of Royal Mail in Wales to the Welsh Government. This in turn should lead to the Welsh Government establishing a new ‘Post Cymru’, publicly-owned and run in the interests of people rather than profits.

Plaid Cymru has pointed to the fact that although the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have their own postal services, they are integrated into the UK post code system and there is no additional charge to post items from the UK to those islands.

The Party of Wales has launched a national online petition ‘Post Cymru – Post i Gymru / Deliver for Wales’ and Ms Wood will aim to coordinate cross-party talks at the National Assembly to see if agreement can be reached on progressing a ‘Post Cymru’ public postal service for Wales.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:

“The privatisation of the Royal Mail is a step even Mrs Thatcher wouldn’t take and it’s disappointing to see a Lib Dem minister rushing this through. Plaid Cymru offered a practical solution how we in Wales can be empowered to follow our own path, in accordance with our values.

“A new Post Cymru service would be run in the interests of our communities, ensuring that the universal, six days service is maintained. One of the great dangers of this privatisation is that the needs of communities will be jeopardised as profits and share-holder interests take priority.

“The Party of Wales is on the side of public opinion and I urge the UK Business Secretary to respect the context of devolution that now exists and to allow each nation to decide on the future of what is effectively a vital part of our country’s infrastructure.”

Local Member of Parliament, Jonathan Edwards added:

“In rural communities such as ours, the postal service is absolutely essential part of our everyday lives.

“Not everyone has the benefit of a sound broadband connection, and is effectively excluded from enjoying the simple task of sending an e-mail or using online services.

“Over the last ten years, irrespective of a Labour or Tory government in London, Carmarthenshire residents have seen their community assets, such as post offices and public institutions stripped away.  With the privatisation of Royal Mail, it is inevitable that rural communities will once again face the thin edge of the wedge in terms of the service we’ll eventually end up with.

“Plaid Cymru is not content with just complaining about privatisation.  We have demonstrated that there is an alternative way to keep our postal service public and to keep rural services protected.

“I hope all Carmarthenshire residents can join Plaid Cymru’s campaign by signing our petition against yet another UK Government privatisation disaster waiting to happen.”

ENDS

Post Office Act 1969 can be viewed here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1969/48/contents

Royal Mail Pricing for the Isle of Man and Channel Islands can be found here: http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/I-need-advice-sending-mail-to-the-Channel-Islands-and-Isle-of-Man

Discussion Area - Submit a comment

Your reply will be moderated and not appear immediately. You can prepare your text in a word processor before pasting it into the box, but formatting such as bold and colour will not appear.