Andy Newman, the Labour Party prospective candidate for the Chippenham constituency has expressed concern over the possible impact of Royal Mail privatisation on the economy of Bradford on Avon, Corsham, Chippenham, and Melksham.
Mr Newman says: “Privatisation will lead to higher prices for domestic and small business customers.” He added: “Future private owners will undoubtedly press for the removal of the current universal service and uniform tariff obligations. Inevitably service will decline for rural and more remote areas. This could lead to local businesses in our area who rely on mail order sales to become less competitive compared to those in urban areas”
Mr Newman rejects the government’s suggestion that privatisation is the only method that can secure investment for the service.
He says: “In the previous year Royal Mail made £411 million profit as a public service, and could become self-financing. Without changing ownership, Royal Mail could borrow money from markets, at a cheaper rate, in line with companies such as Network Rail. Such methods of investment operate throughout the EU for government related entities such as Royal Mail.”
Chippenham Labour Party will be working with local businesses, and with the Royal Mail’s trade union, the CWU, to draw attention to the potential pitfalls of privatisation on businesses in small towns and rural communities.