Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion has launched a campaign and petition against the Westminster Government’s plans to privatise the Royal Mail.
On 12th September, the Lib Dem Business Minister, Vince Cable, announced the details of the plan for the mail delivery service to be sold off. The move comes despite widespread opposition from the public and postal workers.
It's feared that the privatisation will be particularly bad news for areas such as Ceredigion. Currently, the Royal Mail charges the same for its services in urban and rural areas, and ensures daily deliveries for almost all customers. In the long-term, there are concerns over whether new private owners will guarantee the same service to homes and businesses in rural areas.
The local campaign against privatisation was launched this week by Elin Jones AM, Plaid’s MP candidate Mike Parker, and party volunteers across Ceredigion. A petition is being collected, drawing attention to the particular dangers of this policy locally, and is available to sign online here
Mike Parker, the local author and broadcaster who is Plaid Cymru’s Ceredigion candidate at the next Westminster election (pictured right), said,
“The Royal Mail’s universal service is vital to areas such as ours. At the moment, it costs the same to send a letter in Ceredigion as it does in London, and we get the same daily deliveries. New private owners will of course want to cherry-pick the most profitable parts of the business, and that will not be rural Wales. Under private ownership, profits for shareholders will always come first. We’ve already seen huge rises in the price of stamps to make the Royal Mail more attractive for buyers; if this carries on we could soon see prices rise to £1 or more.
“Talking to people on street stalls and on the doorstep right across the county, I’ve been struck by the strength of feeling locally on this issue. This is a bad idea and I call on the Westminster Government to drop the plan.”
Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, added,
“Privatising the Royal Mail is something that even Thatcher didn’t dare to try. No wonder that 70% of the public are opposed, and that postal workers voted against it by a huge margin. As well as threatening price rises and service cuts for our area, the plans are a new threat to the future of our Post Office network, and could lead to centralisation of delivery services and local job losses.”
Further information on the campaign against privatisation can be found here