Delivery Charges (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:59 pm on 20th December 2017.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Media) 4:59 pm, 20th December 2017

I will keep my remarks brief as a courtesy to colleagues who wish to speak. The issue of fair delivery charges to Scotland has had no greater champion in this place over the last two and a half years than my hon. Friend Drew Hendry. It is an issue not just for this Parliament but for the Scottish Parliament, and I pay tribute to the work of my Scottish National party colleague, Richard Lochhead, the MSP for Moray, who launched the fair delivery charges campaign and who led a debate in the Scottish Parliament a couple of weeks ago.

In preparing for today’s debate, I sought examples from my constituents and I was deluged—almost overwhelmed—with the examples from the people of Argyll and Bute. The one from Alex Samboerk from Lochgilphead was notable. Lochgilphead is not on an island; it is 88 miles from Glasgow and it takes less than two and a half hours to get there. Alex went online and bought a case of 28 healthy fruit and cereal bars. The cost was £17.81. When he went to check out, he was astonished to see that for the PA31 postcode in which he lives, the economy service was £90 for delivery. Alex is not alone. I have been inundated with people complaining about such things.

My wish is that this is the last time we have to debate this issue. I hope that the Minister can say that she and the Government will take on board the anger and frustration that has been felt throughout rural Scotland at this unscrupulous and outrageous practice by some delivery companies. As I said, I will cut my comments short as a courtesy to other speakers, but let us never have this debate again.