POST OFFICE – “SAVE OUR POST OFFICE” CAMPAIGN – POLITICAL UPDATE
Further to LTB 680/18 dated 4th December.
We would like to provide Branches with an update specifically on political developments since the “Save Our Post Office” campaign date on 1st December.
Westminster Hall Debate – Thursday 10th January
A debate will take place on 10th January at 1.30pm for 90 minutes on the subject of “Franchising of Crown Post Offices and the effect on high streets and local communities”. This initiative has been instigated by Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan and should mean that the BEIS minister with responsibility for Post Office, Kelly Tolhurst, MP, will be responding to the debate. We are expecting a good participation level from MPs across all parties, especially from those with a Crown Office on the list of 74 which have been earmarked for franchising to WHSmith.
We would anticipate that a significant part of the debate will centre on the misuse of public money in terms of the Settlement Agreement which we have estimated will cost the Post Office in excess of £30m. Interestingly the Post Office hasn’t denied this number and hasn’t been able to refute the use of government monies for the specific purpose of propping up a private ailing retailer. Essentially millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being used for TUPE avoidance and in reality is designed to pay off our experienced members thus enabling WHSmith to replace them with new employees on the minimum wage. This is a central plank to our “Save Our Post Office” campaign as the Post Office approach, supported by government, allows for exploitation, particularly of young workers, and also presents us with significant obstacles to organising and recruiting workers into the Union.
All Branches, particularly those that have a Crown Office currently under threat are encouraged to write formally to your local MPs, urging them to attend and participate in this debate. Attached to this LTB is a model letter for Branches to utilise for this purpose.
We would also remind Branches to encourage MPs to sign EDM 1751, “Crown Post Office Closure and Privatisation” which currently has just 41 signatures. The model letter associated with this activity (and previously attached to LTB 616/18) is attached again for ease of reference.
Finally, please urge all members to sign our online petition – “Save Our Post Office” via our microsite www.saveourpostoffice.co.uk
If you require any further information on this matter, please contact Natasha Burgess, Political Advisor, GS Office, by emailing email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support in this crucial campaign. Further developments will be reported.
Andy Furey – Assistant Secretary
Terry Pullinger – DGS(P)
Dave Ward – General Secretary