§ 17. Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Postmaster General what action he is taking to improve the parcel services in the West Midlands.
§ Mr. Joseph Slater
I am sorry that some parcels to and from the West Midlands are being delayed. These delays are due in the main to shortages of postal staff at Birmingham and some other large offices. We are doing our best to recruit staff but there is intense competition for labour in the areas concerned.
§ Mr. Walker
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a large concentration of mail order houses and similar organisations in the West Midlands, and that many of these firms are contemplating going over to their own C licence vehicles rather than use Post Office services? Is the hon. Gentleman further aware that one of the excuses offered by the Post Office has been the reconstruction of New Street Station? Will he look into alternative ways of coping with the problem which might ease the immediate difficulties?
§ Mr. Slater
We are always seeking to look at alternative ways for the distribution of our postal services, in addition 181 to our efforts to recruit more staff and thus reduce the delays which occur at certain offices. British Railways, who handle the parcel mails at stations, are actively engaged in tightening up and improving their arrangements to give parcel mail a speedier transit. I am aware that efficient postal services are vital to the well-being of industry and of the community at large.