Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Postal Services

Part of Acas – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 6th May 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry 11:30 am, 6th May 2004

Let me echo the chief executive by adding my apology to any customer who has been inconvenienced by late delivery or loss of mail.

On the second delivery, let me point out to the hon. Lady that no other postal operator makes two deliveries a day. The second delivery, which accounted for a mere 4 per cent. of mail, was eating up 20 per cent. of the Royal Mail's costs. That was simply unacceptable in a company that was losing more than £1 million a day, which is why it is moving towards one delivery a day. I accept that the new system is causing problems as it settles down. When I spoke to Allan Leighton last week, I stressed, and he fully accepted, the need to get the change to a single delivery working as quickly as possible.

I hope that the hon. Lady will not make the mistake that some have made in recent weeks of talking down the Royal Mail—as the Conservatives always talk down public services—and sneering at hard-working, honest postmen and women all over our country. I hope that she will take the opportunity to congratulate her local sorting office—