The decision to privatise Royal Mail has met with a mixed reaction - with one MP claiming it could threaten the future of village post offices.
An announcement of the date of the floatation is expected to be made in the coming weeks, with 10 per cent of the shares being given to employees and the rest being offered to the general public and institutional investors.
Royal Mail is a completely separate entity to the Post Office, but Kirkintilloch East MpP Gregg McClymont still has fears about the potential loss of local services. He explained: “My postbag is full of letters from constituents who are worried about what this means for local post offices in East Dunbartonshire.
“The coalition’s failure to ensure a permanent staffing solution for branches in places like Milton of Campsie is already bad enough but this sell-off will cast even more uncertainty over the future of our local post offices.
“When the current agreement expires in 2022, Royal Mail will be under no obligation to work together with the Post Office network and local branches in East Dunbartonshire could stand to lose most of their business as a result.”
But business secretary Vince Cable has insisted privatisation will be going ahead, saying: “HM Government is taking action to secure a healthy future for the company. These measures will help ensure the long term sustainability of the six days a week, one-price-goes-anywhere universal postal service.”
Royal Mail chiefs welcomed the shares windfall for employees - even though large parts of the workforce are against the move and are threatening industrial action.
Moya Greene, the Royal Mail’s chief executive officer, said: “Our people are the heart of our business at Royal Mail.
“By owning 10 per cent of the company, together we will have a meaningful stake in the business. I think this will engage everyone and encourage us to continue to work together to build a great future for Royal Mail.”
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