Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams highlights impact of Covid outbreak on local deliveries.
Plaid Cymru Member of Parliament for Arfon Hywel Williams has called on the Prime Minister to review the resilience of the Royal Mail, as Covid-19 outbreaks amongst frontline staff cause severe disruption to services.
Hywel Williams cited his own local sorting office in Caernarfon as an example of where a recent outbreak of Covid-19 amongst frontline Royal Mail staff has had a significant impact on the resilience of postal services in the area.
There has been substantial disruption to local deliveries and collections across parts of the Arfon constituency following nine members of sorting office staff testing positive for Covid-19, with several others forced to self-isolate.
Questioning the Prime Minister, Hywel Williams MP said:
'Important letters, packets and parcels in the Caernarfon area have been delayed by weeks by a Covid-19 outbreak amongst postal workers.'
'The Prime Minister will I’m sure join me in wishing these workers a speedy recovery.'
'But what steps has his government taken during this health crisis to ensure that the once world beating, but now privatised Royal Mail is sufficiently robust to fulfil its duty to the public?'
Hywel Williams MP added:
'Frontline postal staff have been working incredibly hard throughout this pandemic, ensuring deliveries and collections are maintained with as little disruption as possible.'
'But Covid-19 is having a big impact on the resilience of the service in parts of Arfon, with workers off sick, and others forced to self-isolate. This has inevitably led to a huge backlog in letters and parcels.'
'I know that some of my constituents have concerns that they will miss out on their Covid-19 vaccinations, though I have now been reassured that alternative ways of reaching people are in place, such as by phone or through community health workers.'
'However, people are understandably anxious, and with more people working from home, maintaining the resilience of the postal service should be a priority for this government.'
'With reports of similar disruption across other parts of the UK, it is obvious that whatever the contingency measures, they are insufficient in protecting postal services, particularly in rural areas, from Covid-related disruption.'
'The government and the Royal Mail must as a matter of urgency come up with more robust plans so that we don't face the same issues should frontline staff be off work again in the future.'