23 December 2002

Post Office Regulator “Out Of Touch With Scottish Needs and Interests” – Stevenson

Banff & Buchan SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has branded Post Office regulator PostComm as short-sighted and out of touch. The claim follows a meeting with Scottish management of Royal Mail to discuss the future of postal services which Mr Stevenson and other North-east SNP MSPs had requested.

Mr Stevenson commented:

“It is vital to our rural areas that the universal service obligation which ensures that every part of Scotland has access to vital postal services is maintained. There is a growing feeling that this is being neglected by the regulator, PostComm. This is not surprising as the board of PostComm has no Scottish representation and shows little sign of understanding the unique needs of rural Scotland.

“I will be writing to PostComm urging them to bring forward plans for an update to the universal service obligation and to simplify the regulations to allow the Post Office to have the necessary funding to enable them to deliver a service to rural Scotland.”

Commenting on the Government’s plans to make benefit and pension payments through bank accounts, a change which will affect Post Offices, Mr Stevenson continued:

“The Post Office is being discriminated against again in the Government’s plans to pay benefits into bank accounts as people are being encouraged to use commercial banks rather than continuing to support their local Post Office. I am calling for an information campaign to ensure that people are informed that they can continue to receive pension and benefit payments at their local Post Office and also do their banking their in future.

“It is vital that the new modernised Post Office has the opportunity to compete successfully and remain as it always has been as a vital cornerstone of our villages and towns throughout Scotland.”

Stewart Stevenson
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