Helen Hayes MP has highlighted the cost to specialist media publishers of Royal Mail failing to deliver on its Quality of Service at a parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall on April 19.
As part of a debate on Royal Mail services and the COVID-19 pandemic, the MP called on Government and Ofcom (the communications regulator) to make significant changes to ensure that both individuals and businesses can depend on Royal Mail’s services.
Hayes is MP for the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency, which is home to PPA member the Mark Allen Group (MAG). As well as pointing to the risk presented by Royal Mail delivery failures, she also emphasised MAG’s concerns that subscription cancellations correspond closely with unreliable postal delivery services.
Hayes noted that specialist media is worth £3.74 billion to the UK economy, with the industry supporting around 55,000 jobs. Publishers are absolutely reliant on Royal Mail for the sustainability of their subscription businesses, Hayes stated, adding that it was "no exaggeration to say that the Royal Mail failures are putting jobs at risk".
In response to the points made in the debate, Paul Scully MP, the Minister responsible for postal services, acknowledged that Royal Mail’s Quality of Service reports indicated it had not met its universal service targets in the third quarter of the financial year.
Bringing the debate to a close, Hayes expressed dismay at the mismatch between the messages parliamentarians received from Royal Mail and the experiences of MPs constituents. Hayes asked Minister Scully to step back from briefings from Ofcom and Royal Mail, and instead focus on the role that Government can play in making sure that post is delivered with the reliability that such a vital service demands.