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Southampton City Council leader will urge Government to axe proposed privatisation of Royal Mail
THE leader of Southampton City Council will write to the Government urging it to scrap plans to privatise the Royal Mail.
Simon Letts will plead with Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise Vince Cable after city councillors voted to formally sign a Save the Royal Mail petition and pressurise the coalition Government into reversing its controversial plans.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled plans to float the service, which has been publiclyowned since its creation in 1516.
Liberal Democrat Mr Cable said that the plans to float the service on the London Stock Exchange over the coming weeks will secure a “healthy future” for the company.
Labour councillor Andrew Pope put a motion to full council urging it to “formally sign the petition to put pressure on the Government to reverse its decision and protect the country’s postal services”.
During a heated debate in the council chamber, the Redbridge councillor said: “Royal Mail is a successful public enterprise and can continue to make profits. This is an ideological privatisation, not an economic one.”
But he was opposed by Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors, with Tory Matthew Claisse saying: “I wonder why we are debating this issue? Do you think the Government will sit up and listen to a Labour council clearly with a political and ideological axe to grind? I would suggest that it would make sense to focus on those issues you have at hand.”
And Lib Dem group leader Adrian Vinson drew laughter from around the chamber when he said: “As usual Cllr Pope lives up to his name and pontificates.
“We feel Labour doth protest too much, and that there is a rosy Postman Pope view of the current situation, in which the future of the Royal Mail is at best tenuous in its present form.”
But Labour’s majority on the council saw the motion through, and Cllr Letts is now set to pen a letter to Mr Cable urging him to reconsider the plans.
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