Royal Mail closure is 'very sad moment' says MP
Gloucester MP Richard Graham has said that the closure of the city's Royal Mail sorting office is a 'very sad moment'.
The announcement was made this morning that the Eastern Avenue office will shut, threatening 371 posts.
Mr Graham has been in talks with Royal Mail in a bid to find out how the move will affect Gloucester workers.
He said: "Although clearly a very sad moment for staff and their families, I know that this is advance notice of the closure next July, and that Royal Mail will be doing all they can meanwhile to keep staff, many in different roles, and train those who decide to take generous voluntary retirement and pursue other opportunities.
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"I'm pleased that the intention is for no compulsory redundacies.
"Royal Mail assures me that mail collection and delivery times will not be affected, so customers should be reassured, although it will be up to the company to deliver on that pledge.
"Meanwhile Royal Mail has already started discussions with staff individually to review different options - including trial periods in eg Parcel Force, Bristol and Gloucester South.
"I understand their intention is to keep as many of the 371 Eastern Avenue based workers as possible. That includes the circa 80 drivers of mail vans, additional jobs created in the Gloucester North and South and Stroud offices: and other roles available in their Bristol and Swindon centres.
"The key to the numbers of staff staying with Royal Mail will be their flexibility on eg travel. This may be difficult for some, like part time employees who are working mothers. "However the timing of the closure in 2013 and the recruitment of staff, including part time, for the new Morrisons going up in the Railway Triangle should mean instant opportunities just up the road."
It is important Gloucester grabs new investment and jobs with both hands in light of the closure, Mr Graham said.
"Overall for Gloucester there will be some jobs lost and that only emphasises the importance of seeing new investment and new jobs, and growth in our existing businesses," he added.
"There is quite a lot of evidence of both, obviously especially coming up in the neighbouring Railway Triangle and the huge future growth in nuclear energy, but also as companies like Ageas continues to expand, and I will continue to work on attracting more."