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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Postal services consultation

29 June 2010

Islanders and businesses in Jersey are being asked for their views about how postal services should be paid for and changes to the frequency of deliveries and collections. 

The Minister for Economic Development has launched a Green Paper, which is being sent to every household in the Island this week, about the provision of the Universal Service Obligation (USO) in postal services. The USO sets outs the number of times that post is collected and delivered to homes and businesses. 

The USO is under significant pressure. Since 2003, mail volumes have declined by 4% per year. Increases in internet use mean people are sending fewer letters and as a result, the post office is not generating enough money to pay for itself. 

During the past few years, the fulfilment industry has provided Jersey Post with additional profits which have enabled losses in the postal service loss to be financed. The Paper argues that this position is both unfair and unsustainable. It says the system should be changed to make it pay for itself and that Jersey Post will have to cut costs to achieve this. This could mean reducing collections and deliveries as well as closing some post offices.

Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, says “Jersey is not alone in having to make difficult choices about its postal service. The UK and many other jurisdictions have also experienced a dramatic decline in postal volumes.

”However, the current situation is unsustainable and the Treasury Minister has made it clear that the taxpayer should not be expected to foot the bill. It’s clear that we have no option but to make changes to the current Universal Service Obligation and I would very much like to know what Islanders think about these proposals.”

The paper states that a realistic reduced service could either be a 3 day a week collection and delivery, or a 3 day collection followed by 2 days the next week.  It sets out a number of options for service reductions. These include:

  • a daily collection service from a small number (no more than about 6) collection points with next day delivery to the UK and Jersey 
  • offering daily deliveries in exchange for a fixed monthly charge 
  • offering daily deliveries to all addresses in exchange for a fixed monthly/quarterly charge.

Islanders can either respond to the consultation online or in writing. Written responses can be posted without charge by writing Freepost on the envelope. The deadline for responses is Monday 30 August 2010.

Following analysis of the results in September the department will organise focus groups to discuss the outcome.

Postal services review

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