Neath MP Peter Hain has renewed his appeal to the Royal Mail, in a letter to Chief executive Moya Greene, to invest in a state of the art delivery office facility in the heart of Neath following postal bosses’ announcement early in the year that they were considering switching the work of the current delivery office in Windsor Road, Neath Town Centre to Llansamlet, Swansea, with the loss of 70 jobs.
His call comes after Mr Hain had initiated months of negotiations between Royal Mail, Neath Port Talbot County Council and the Welsh Government. This week he was told by the Welsh Government the Royal Mail was not eligible for such grant assistance to build a new office. Describing the development as ‘intensely disappointing’, he vowed to continue to fight for the delivery office to remain in Neath.
Mr Hain commented, ‘This is an extremely disappointing outcome but the opportunity is still not lost which is why I am renewing my appeal to the Royal Mail to invest in the site and secure the future of the Neath delivery office. In doing so they will be secure the quality jobs of more than 70 staff that already work out of the Windsor Road office and the vital local knowledge they bring to the job.
‘A delivery office should be located within the community it serves so that postmen and post women know their local areas and people very well. Whilst everyone agrees that the current old office is no longer fit for purpose there genuinely is a fantastic opportunity to have a purpose built facility with excellent transport links in the town. This opportunity must not be lost. Losing good jobs like this would be a body blow to Neath town.”
‘Neath Port Talbot leaders and officials have worked hard to identify a suitable site and have indicated they will help in whatever way they can to keep the jobs in Neath. But now the Welsh Government has stated the project does not fit the rules for grant assistance, responsibility passes to the Royal Mail to fulfil its historic role in Neath. I am pressing it very hard to do so.’
In July Mr Hain met with Royal Mail representatives and those from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to identify a suitable site in Neath town.