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Wigan Mayor signs up to ‘Save Our Royal Mail’
Thursday 11th July, 2013

Wigan Mayor signs up to ‘Save Our Royal Mail’

Cllr Billy Rotherham, Mayor of Wigan has signed up to support the campaign to ‘Save Our Royal Mail’ and pledged to do all he can to convince the government to reconsider privatisation and keep Royal Mail public.

Cllr Rotherham was joined by Labour Councillors and fellow Worsley Mesnes Councillor Lynne Holland.

Cllr Lynne Holland said:

“I oppose the Government’s plans because I believe that maintaining the Royal Mail in public ownership gives the taxpayer an ongoing interest in ensuring a universal postal service. In Government Labour opposed privatisation and invested in modernising the network. This Tory-led Government now want to sell this just when the results of that investment have helped turn the organisation around.

“Privatisation will lead to a reduction in service for communities across Wigan.”

Carl Webb, Communication Workers Union Regional Secretary, said

“Councillors like Billy and Lynne fully appreciate the service that CWU members provide and the benefits it brings to local economies. If privatised, small businesses and the public would be hit by rising prices and by the reduction to the one price goes anywhere next day delivery. Lancashire would see a reduction in services as Royal Mail focuses on increasing shareholder returns in urban areas, leading to more significant price increases. Privatisation is bad news for customers, services, prices and jobs.”

Royal Mail and Government argue they need privatisation so the company can access capital by borrowing on the commercial markets without this contributing to government debt.

CWU has blown this argument out of the water and has laid out a detailed model for how the company would operate with social, commercial and ethical responsibilities which would allow the company to remain publicly owned and have access to capital. The union has cited Network Rail as a perfect example of this. By creating a new Board structure it has been able to borrow over £27 billion in recent years on the open market at a cheaper rate than if privatised and without adding to national debt. Royal Mail has said they need £1.5 billion. Royal Mail made £403 million profit last year.

Such a structure would protect over 300 years of Royal Mail heritage as one of the last Great British institutions and still achieve Government objectives.

Carl added:

“Along with political dogma, the only reason why this government wants to sell Royal Mail is to help plug the black-hole caused by the banks and the government’s incompetence in their handling of the economy. The irony of it all is that the banks are set to make up to £30 million if the government sells off Royal Mail. Once again the public are the losers and the banks are the winners.”

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