Year: 2003

£15M for urban Post Offices

A £15million fund has been set up to help keep open post offices in some of Britain’s most deprived urban areas.

Up to £50,000 will be offered to sub-postmasters at nearly 400 locations.

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Deprived urban Post Offices to get £2M funding boost

Post Offices in deprived urban areas in Scotland are to get a £2million boost to help save them from closure, it was announced yesterday.

The Scottish Executive move follows criticism that urban post offices, which play a pivotal role in communities, were being denied access to a £60million Government subsidy to their rural counterparts in Scotland.

Over the next two years, urban subpostmasters will be able to apply for a one-off grant of up to £50,000.

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Royal Mail 'cannot rule out administration'

Royal Mail today said it could “not rule out” administration as a “hypothetical worst case” scenario if there wasn’t a satisfactory way agreed to finance the company.

The comment came in response to a report in the Independent on Sunday which said Royal Mail – which is currently losing #1.1 million a day – could be “forced into administration” unless it was allowed to raise stamp prices.

A Royal Mail spokesman however stressed that while he could not rule it out it was a hypothetical situation.

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Postal strikers turn over new leaf

The number of days lost through industrial action at the traditionally strike-happy Post Office last year sank to its lowest for 10 years, despite the loss of more than 13,000 jobs.

In 2002 the number of days lost, mainly through unofficial action among the 170,000-strong workforce, dropped to 7,400. In previous years the Post Office won the unenviable title of Britain’s most strike-prone organisation, responsible for nearly half of the working days lost in the country.

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Death of the red post box. Fury as cost cutters axe letter collections

Thousands of traditional red post boxes face being scrapped as the crisis-hit Royal Mail tries to cut costs.

Many of those earmarked for closure are in rural communities already reeling from the loss of village post offices. Industry watchdog Postwatch vowed to fight to save the boxes after it emerged that a pilot scheme in one county may be extended to the 115,000 boxes nationwide.

Axing the national treasures could leave the elderly and isolated unable to use the postal service.

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Postcodes check charge rise 'an own goal for Royal Mail'

The postal watchdog today attacked plans to increase the cost of checking postcodes as an “own goal” which could create more work for the Royal Mail.

Customers calling the inquiry line will be charged 50p a minute during the day from next Monday instead of the current local call rate.

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Royal Mail shapes up to problem of large letters

The Royal Mail is considering charging extra to deliver oddly shaped or large items, because they are more difficult to sort. A spokesman for the organisation said that the company had been talking to the magazine industry about the possibility of moving to “format-based” pricing – depending on the shape of the magazine posted.

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