Baton relay was a special experience

editorial image

Sir, – Tuesday, June 24, was a very special day for my dad and a very proud day for his family.

My dad carried the Commonwealth baton though Grangepans and what a reception he received!

Most of the kids from the school came to show their support as did his colleagues.

The kids made banners and clapped cheered and made his experience amazing from start to finish.

Thank-you to everyone that showed their support it means so much to my dad and us.

We are all so proud to be Grangers. – Yours etc.,

L Barrett

Bo’ness

by email

Sir, – I was rather bemused by Allan Kidd’s response to my letter, not because of the veracity or otherwise of his arguments, but by his preponderance for extrapolating widely from what was actually written.

Search as I might through the text of my letter, I could not find the word “anger”.

At no stage did I impugn his mother’s contribution, nor the longevity of her tenure.

What I did state and am happy to iterate was that it is inaccurate to state that “bands are not cheap at £500”.

The accusation of stating a one-sided view is fair to the extent that a short letter to one’s local newspaper seldom affords the opportunity to do otherwise.

The quality of the food and refreshment provided to bands during my 40 years with Linlithgow Reed Band is subject for another debate, but in the spirit of conciliation, I would invite all your readers to 
recognise the invaluable 
contribution of the voluntary sector to our community 
life.

Edgar Liddle

Linlithgow

Sir, – Royal Mail and its postmen and women are proud to provide the universal service to all 29 million addresses the length and breadth of the UK.

Recently we have seen companies like TNT Post UK establish their own mail delivery operations which bypass Royal Mail’s network for collection, sorting and delivery of mail.

So far, TNT has launched a rival service in London, Liverpool and Manchester but this is set to expand quickly to 42 per cent of UK households, covering 8.5 per cent of the UK’s area by 2017.

TNT has indicated this will include cities around the UK.

The universal service is sustained by the money we make in urban areas. This helps fund the entire national network, including delivery to areas of lower population where our costs are much higher.

Across Royal Mail, we have been working hard to manage the long-term decline in letters volumes by being more efficient, more customer-focused and growing our parcels business.

However, the already challenged universal service is now being further undermined.

New entrants to the market deliver only in urban, populous areas whereas Royal Mail must deliver mail to less populous areas of the UK which are costly to serve.

Direct delivery competitors are not bound by the same stringent regulatory requirements as Royal Mail.

For example, TNT Post UK typically provides an ‘every other day’ service.

Royal Mail must collect and deliver letters six days a week.

Direct delivery competitors only deliver bulk business mail, much of which is machine-sequenced.

This type of mail is valuable to the universal service provider and helps support the cost of processing items that have to be manually sorted.

As a consequence, we fear that a point could soon be reached where direct delivery competition leads to the universal service being unviable.

Were this to happen, it could represent the loss of a vital service upon which thousands of communities up and down the UK rely. We believe that there is sufficient evidence to support an immediate review of the postal market by Ofcom in order to fulfil its primary duty of protecting the universal service for all. – Yours etc.,

Tony Bicknall

Royal Mail Delivery Director

11 Cultins Road, Edinburgh

John Brown

CWU Regional Secretary

2B Craigpark

Glasgow G31 2NA