North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, joins with Laura Sandys (South Thanet), The deputy Leader of Thanet Council, Roger Latchford and other Thanet Councillors this (Monday) morning to launch a parliamentary petition that seeks to persuade the Government to place a moratorium on post office closures pending a reappraisal of the programme.
The petition will be launched at 09.00 at Minnis Bay Post Office at the time when many pensioners gather to collect their money.
"We are seeking to raise hundreds if not thousands of signatures on this petition which I shall then present to the House of Commons" says Roger Gale. "We accept that there is a need for change within the post office network but we believe that it is wrong both to deny local communities facilities that are, in many cases, vital to their existence and also wrong for government, as the major shareholder in Post Office Ltd, to deny to those small businesses trading opportunities that will make them both viable and competitive in a modern environment.
There is a huge public interest at stake and the response from the general public since the consultation was announced and plans revealed has, notwithstanding the postal strike, already been very considerable."
Ccommenting upon the postal strike the MP adds:
"I have visited sorting offices and spoken personally with postal workers. Our local postmen and postwomen are not militant and they do not want to damage the businesses and communities that they serve any more than they want to damage their own jobs or place their mortgages and financial security at risk.
They do, though, want to be treated fairly and they want a just reward for working what are often anti-social hours in appalling weather conditions and they also want to maintain the high standard of delivery and service in which they take a pride.
Postal workers are caught between a highly-paid and arrogant management in Adam Crozier and Allan Leighton , who will no doubt in due curse be rewarded with New Labour honours for their mediocrity, and by a Trades Union Leadership, in Mr. Hayes and his colleagues, that represents a throwback to old-style neanderthal union approach to industrial relations. It would probably be helpful if a fresh and competent team were to look at both sides of the argument, to address issues arising from working conditions, pay and most particularly pensions and to endeavour to reach a fair settlement.
Failure to bring about an agreement will further damage the small businesses that rely upon the postal service and will, ultimately, finish of the once-cherished and unique Royal Mail service for good."