§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with Consignia concerning its business prospects; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Alexander
The Department has regular discussions with Consignia about a range of strategic issues facing the company. Last year's Postal Services Act gave the company greater commercial freedom so that it could improve its services and performance. We expect the management and the unions, which have been asking for more commercial freedom for years, to work together to use the freedom we have given them to deliver a better service to customers.