Sunday, 29 September 2013


Time for Post Office Cymru
There can be few people who are honestly looking forward to the privatisation of the Post Office, especially in the light of our costly experience with the privatised utilities and the railways. The Conservative dominated Coalition Government in seeking to privatize our Post Office is seeking to do what its then New Labour predecessor Westminster government failed to do. 

I think that most people would be glad to see and end to obsessive ideologically driven privatisation, purely for the sake of it, especially as the Post Office is now making a profit. Rather than put profit before people again, it makes more sense to retain public ownership, and to seek an alternative to Royal Mail privatisation by developing a uniquely ‘Welsh way forward’ that would see the UK Government surrender its Welsh postal interests to Wales. Our Post Office and the services that it provides to our communities has already been put in jeopardy by the Post Office Closure Programme. There is still time to save the service, and as Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood rightly 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. The Plaid leader 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 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 Liberal Democrat 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.”
Plaid Cymru has rightly pointed to the fact that although the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man each have their own postal services, and that they are integrated into the UK post code system which means that there is no additional charge for postal items from the UK to those islands.

The Party of Wales has launched an online petition ‘Post Cymru – Post i Gymru / Deliver for Wales’ and Plaid Leader Leanne Wood aims 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.

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