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Royal Mail closure is 'very sad moment' says MP

By citizenmike  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

  • Royal Mail is closing Eastern Avenue sorting office

  • Sorting office is being axed

  • Richard Graham says it's 'a very sad moment'

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Gloucester MP Richard Graham has said that the closure of the city's Royal Mail sorting office is a 'very sad moment'.

The announcement was made this morning that the Eastern Avenue office will shut, threatening 371 posts.

Mr Graham has been in talks with Royal Mail in a bid to find out how the move will affect Gloucester workers.

He said: "Although clearly a very sad moment for staff and their families, I know that this is advance notice of the closure next July, and that Royal Mail will be doing all they can meanwhile to keep staff, many in different roles, and train those who decide to take generous voluntary retirement and pursue other opportunities.

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"I'm pleased that the intention is for no compulsory redundacies.

"Royal Mail assures me that mail collection and delivery times will not be affected, so customers should be reassured, although it will be up to the company to deliver on that pledge.

"Meanwhile Royal Mail has already started discussions with staff individually to review different options - including trial periods in eg Parcel Force, Bristol and Gloucester South.

"I understand their intention is to keep as many of the 371 Eastern Avenue based workers as possible. That includes the circa 80 drivers of mail vans, additional jobs created in the Gloucester North and South and Stroud offices: and other roles available in their Bristol and Swindon centres.

"The key to the numbers of staff staying with Royal Mail will be their flexibility on eg travel. This may be difficult for some, like part time employees who are working mothers. "However the timing of the closure in 2013 and the recruitment of staff, including part time, for the new Morrisons going up in the Railway Triangle should mean instant opportunities just up the road."

It is important Gloucester grabs new investment and jobs with both hands in light of the closure, Mr Graham said.

"Overall for Gloucester there will be some jobs lost and that only emphasises the importance of seeing new investment and new jobs, and growth in our existing businesses," he added.

"There is quite a lot of evidence of both, obviously especially coming up in the neighbouring Railway Triangle and the huge future growth in nuclear energy, but also as companies like Ageas continues to expand, and I will continue to work on attracting more."

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  • Lord_Gaga_  |  November 09 2012, 9:54AM

    YOU GET WHAT YOU VOTE FOR!

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 09 2012, 12:05AM

    Chas_Townley Citizen swaps its reporter between other local papers - you are asking too much from a local news sheet to appoint a European reporter. Regarding utilities and businesses using the post - they are fast converting their customers to use the internet or the phone to read meters, and access their bills, and also make payments - cutting down on their admin and post/communications bills and putting that on the customer. Direct debit, and internet banking is making cheques obsolete - one of these days some clever cyber-terrorist or solar flare will knock all this down and we will have to start again with a new chain of pony riders.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 08 2012, 11:58PM

    at 60p for first class, and 50 for 2nd, I have stopped writing letters. Overseas post is a scandal - all this I suppose is to up the revenue for the private owner of Royal Mail to be - but beware - people will just stop using the postal services - already only the loonies will use the postal parcel service given that private couriers pick up and deliver at half the price. The tragedy is that these services, including rail, electricity, water, and gas were considered public utilities of national strategic importance, not cash-cows for foreign operators providing second rate services.

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  • MONKEYCOPPER  |  November 08 2012, 10:17PM

    says it all when my comment/question gets removed !!!!

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  • FreeRadical1  |  November 08 2012, 3:17PM

    Well, don't bother to fight tooth and nail to stop the closure, Richard. No-one in Gloucester would want you to put yourself out. You must have better things to do with your time.

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  • SELINA30  |  November 08 2012, 1:56PM

    It all stems from privatisation. The Tories are going to sell Royal Mail off and Richard Graham will back the governments plan. Bring back Parmjit Dhanda.

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  • a_calm_voice  |  November 08 2012, 1:46PM

    Gloucester's previous MP managed to get this closure stopped a few years ago. Perhaps Mr Graham's priorities are elsewhere.

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  • maurice1941  |  November 08 2012, 1:17PM

    I agree all he seems worried about is the beer escalator brought in by the Labour partyand getting his mugshot in the Citizen is he paying the paper in todays rag the same pic of him appears twice,next min he his opening a shop ,it makes me wonder about the triangle main line station would of been great does he work for Morrisons. What a insult to the royal mail workers saying thats alright the jobs will be there . Like yesterday he voted or abstained on the rtegional pay issue this man is not for G loucester lets hope his days are numbered

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  • NibNobs  |  November 08 2012, 12:29PM

    So Mr Graham is saying to the existing postal workers, don't worry about losing the rest of your career at Royal Mail and the lack of further pension contributions leading to a smaller Post Office pension to look forward to, just go and work for £6.75 an hour in Morrisons. Great, maybe we will see Mr Graham do the same after the next election?

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  • Chas_Townley  |  November 08 2012, 12:28PM

    This has been a long time coming - all due to free market economics! The greatest impact to Royal Mail is by "market liberalisation" -where competion has been introduced in the collection and sorting of mail from businesses. This might be better described as privatisation by the back door Inevitably as more and more businesses move to cheaper competitors it is no surprise that the Royal Mail will have to down size their operation as at the Gloucester sorting centre. Somewhere in the region of 85-90% of all mail sent is dispatched by businesses whether that it is energy utilities, councils, banks or small local businesses. The irony of the rigged market for postal services - presumably intended to make a profit for the private sector - is that Royal Mail has to offer a "final mile" service to the private operators who are allowed to deliver their mail to the delivery offices which are then posted by your hard working postie. But we also have to recognise that improved efficiency in the postal service has been a long time coming. Even the last Labour Government argued that compared to the German Postal Service and the American one that they were 25 and 9% more efficient than the UK postal service. See for example http://tinyurl.com/bq9brur In GDP terms Eurostats has collected data which shows that the UK spends twice as much on postal services than other EU member states on postal services - although there are some states like France where they appear to spend more. http://tinyurl.com/cknp9os It doesn't matter a fig where people stand on the issue now what matters is where they stood on competition in postal services when the EU legislation was agreed in 1997 and 2002. Perhaps there is a big lesson there about becoming active Europeans and campaigning for the type of Europe we want rather than what big business wants. Does the Citizen have a European Reporter? If not its time it did!

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