Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has argued for the Royal Mail to be brought back into public ownership and warned that the Post Office is under increasing threat.
He won loud applause from delegates at the annual conference of the Communication Workers Union with a passionate defence of keeping post offices open and defending the universal postal service.
“The best thing would be for Royal Mail and the Post Office to be brought back together in public ownership, not the system of ownership we have at present.”
Mr Corbyn said the Post Office seemed to be under increasing threat, as more branches were franchised, hitting rural communities and access to services for older people as well as terms and conditions of workers.
Postal workers were the “lifeblood” of communities, regarded as a friend, he said, adding: Ïf we lose it and it breaks up and have fewer High Street post offices, we have lost something that pioneers fought for.
Starship Technologies, a company launched by the former co-founders of Skype, is announcing today that the UK will be the first major country to host trials of its revolutionary self-driving delivery robots, starting in Greenwich, London.
Throughout the next six months, the robots will be visiting towns and cities in all four nations of the UK, culminating with launch of pilot delivery services later this year.
The six wheeled intelligent robot will make its debut in Greenwich after talks with the local authority led to a partnership with the firm, which means that Greenwich will be the first location in the UK to experience the revolutionary delivery system. First launched in November 2015, the robot is designed for local delivery of goods and groceries for consumers for under £1 per shipment. The robots use pavements like pedestrians, travelling at slow speeds and with zero emissions. The public introduction program aims to demonstrate how easily the friendly curbside robots can integrate into human life.
The UK has been chosen for this work because of the Government’s clear commitment to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, making the country a world leader in this new and ground-breaking technology.
“Our robots are a totally new class of devices that will provide a combination of low cost and convenience with less congested streets and zero emissions,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies. “The robot has been in development for almost two years, and we’ve experienced unprecedented levels of interest and goodwill – so it’s great to now be taking the first step to rolling our little robot out for real. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far, so it’s very exciting to be officially introducing the robot to the British public.”
“I am delighted that The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been chosen as the first location in the UK to trial this revolutionary delivery system, and that Starship Technologies has chosen to base their UK offices in Greenwich” said Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. “This technology has the potential to transform the local delivery of goods and groceries. The trial complements the work being undertaken by the Royal Borough of Greenwich on smart city innovation – work that we believe will be significant for all cities in the future.”
Starship Technologies is planning to launch similar testing programmes in the United States in April and plans to unveil the first pilot services in cooperation with its service partners in the UK later this year.
2016 commemorates 500 years since Henry VIII knighted Brian Tuke, the first Master of the Posts, in 1516.
As you would expect from any institution that has been around for 500 years, there are a number of significant dates in our history. The knighting of Brian Tuke was the catalyst for the creation of the Royal Mail we know today. Tuke had the influence and authority to establish key post towns across the country and build out a formal postal network.
To celebrate, Royal Mail is working in close partnership with its heritage partner, the British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA), to create an online gallery of 500 objects, people and events – www.royalmailgroup.com/500years – telling the story not only of the postal service but also of our contribution to social and political development over the last 500 years.
Royal Mail plc (RMG.L) today announced its results for the half year ended 27 September 2015.
Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, commenting on the results, said:
“Royal Mail is the pre-eminent letters and parcels carrier in the UK. We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half, demonstrating our ability to respond to a competitive trading environment. Continue reading →
UK Mail saw its shares plunge by more than 17.5pc after the company issued a fresh profit warning as its parcel delivery service struggles with a move to a new fully automatic processing facility.
The independent postal services provider said the difficult transition to a new head office and hub from Birmingham to Coventry meant expectations for next year’s financial performance had “softened slightly”.