Local MP Luke Pollard yesterday brought a campaign for the post box in Stoke Village to be restored to Parliament, by presenting a petition in the House of Commons that has been signed by hundreds of residents and traders from Stoke Village.
The petition, presented to the House of Commons by Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP Luke Pollard, states that the loss of the village’s post pox is ‘detrimental to the local shops and community.’
Royal Mail removed the post box from Stoke Village after the Post Office closed depriving the community of the chance to send letters from the heart of Stoke’s bustling community. Despite calls from both Luke and Stoke’s Labour Councillors Sally Cresswell and Jemima Laing, Royal Mail has so far refused to reinstall the post box. Royal Mail’s continued refusal to replace the post box they had removed prompted Luke to start the petition. The right to petition Parliament traces its roots back to 1669 and is used by MPs to raise issues of concerns to the attention of Ministers and the public.
Luke’s presentation of the petition was the first time Stoke Village had ever been mentioned in the House of Commons.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“Royal Mail was wrong to remove the post box from Stoke Village and local opinion is clear – we want our post box back. I’m grateful to everyone who has signed the petition and for the energy of Stoke’s local councillors in spreading the word that we don’t have to accept Royal Mail’s decision to remove our post box.
“In this past year of lockdown, a handwritten note or a birthday card, something to have and to hold from the people we love, has meant so much more. For those of us that aren’t online, it’s about restoring their only avenue of communication with loved ones since the pandemic began. To some, a post box is just a facility, but to many it’s a lifeline.
“I hope Royal Mail take note of this petition, and restore the post box to Stoke Village as soon as possible.”
After presenting the petition the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, also offered his support for the campaign noting he had campaigned to replace a post box in his own constituency, saying of Royal Mail “let’s hope they’re listening to you.”
Stoke Ward Councillor Sally Cresswell said:
“When we lost our post office we lost a valuable community hub, but the loss of our post box has deprived people of a local lifeline. Not everyone uses email and letters and cards have been especially important to the elderly during Covid. People in Stoke Village really want their post box back. Royal Mail are a big company but I hope they listen to our community and give us back our post box in thriving Stoke Village.”
Stoke Ward Councillor Jemima Laing said:
“We know how important the postbox is to people who live and work in and around Stoke Village. Our campaign has had extraordinary support from local residents and businesses who are as determined as we are that the postbox is returned. It’s a short-sighted decision which I really hope Royal Mail will reverse.”
Luke Pollard is due to meet Royal Mail to discuss the future of a post box in Stoke Village on Thursday 15 July 2021.
You can watch Luke’s speech in full, as well as the Speaker’s response, via the Youtube link below.