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Royal Mail Plans fail to protect Hinckley and Bosworth's Post Offices

March 26, 2009 9:00 AM

Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Bosworth Michael Mullaney has criticised the Government's plans for a partial privatisation of Royal Mail as failing to protect the Post Office network and being off track.

"Peter Mandelson's proposals do not secure the future of the Post Office network and also fail to give Royal Mail any real freedom in being able to invest in the future of the postal service" said Michael Mullaney.

"The Lib Dem proposals for Royal Mail are more workable and would guarantee the survival of our Post Office network as well as provide Royal Mail and its employees with a better future".

Three years ago the Liberal Democrats, recognising Royal Mail's problems, developed a comprehensive policy to secure the future of both organisations by:

• Separating the Post Office network from Royal Mail as an independent publicly owned organisation, with its own board of directors, an investment plan for the future, and significant investment to undertake those plans.

• Giving post offices the opportunity to develop new business through the "postbank" concept and a prime role in delivering to citizens on behalf of government.

• Making the Universal Service Obligation a legal requirement for 6 days a week.

• Placing Royal Mail into shared ownership, with a majority of shares divided equally between the Government and a Trust for Royal Mail staff, and a minority of shares available for sale (with all revenue going into the post office investment fund).

• Giving the regulator the power to place a levy on other operators who do not undertake the USO to pay towards its cost.

"It is vital we protect Hinckley and Bosworth's remaining Post Offices", continued Michael Mullaney.

"We have already seen too many of our Post Offices close in recent years, including the branches on Clifton Way in Hinckley, and the Higham on the Hill and Bagworth branches."