Stormont’s Royal Mail response ‘alarms’ Ritchie

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Monday, October 14th, 2013
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has expressed her surprise and alarm at the revelation from Westminster’s Business Minister that he has not received representations from the First and Deputy First Minister regarding Royal Mail privatisation. Ritchie told Newry Times, “Over the last number of months, there has been increasing concern and consternation in the wider community about the potential impact of the privatisation of Royal Mail – particularly the impact on the workers within the postal network and the historic commitment to deliver post to some of the most inaccessible rural areas in Northern Ireland. “Some days ago I tabled an Early Day Motion in Westminster urging Parliamentary support for the postal offices network and local services as well as Parliamentary Questions to the Business Minister in Westminster regarding the challenges and impact of Royal Mail privatisation on the impact of local jobs in the post office network in Northern Ireland and the delivery of postal services particularly to inaccessible rural communities. “I was surprised and alarmed to discover through one of the answers to the Parliamentary Questions which I had tabled that neither the First and Deputy First Minister had so far had made representations regarding the challenges and problems faced by the privatisation of Royal Mail to staff within the service and to the wider community. “I am sure that that apparent lack of concern on the part of First and Deputy First Minister about the nature of the privatisation of the postal service will be considered as a dereliction of duty by many people throughout Northern Ireland including those postal staff who deliver our mail in all weathers for six days each week – every week of the year. Ritchie added, “So at this late hour, in the interests of the needs of the wider community including businesses, I would urge the First and Deputy First Minister to jointly declare that they want the staff and the universal service provided by our local postal network throughout Northern Ireland to be protected and saved; that they want the local taxpayer to share in the benefit of the modernisation and future increased profits of Royal Mail, and that they will indicate that fulsome intention to the Business Minister, Rt Hon. Michael Fallon MP in London as a matter of urgency.”
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