“Planning Alerts” takes on The Royal Mail – but needs our help.

Logo Planning Alerts (www.planningalerts.com) is one of those focused internet services that really fills a great function.  You simply register your post code and they send you an email with information about any Planning Application in your immediate area.  I've been signed on for some time and it allows me to keep abreast of what's going on in my immediate area.

Unfortunately this neat service is now under threat of legal action from the Royal Mail:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7700621.stm

They have circulated a message to their users which states: We are left with the choice of paying the Royal Mail up to £4,000 a year for access to the postcode database and either running a much less accurate and useful service or shutting PlanningAlerts down altogether.

They have requested those who use their service to take one or more of the following actions.  (I have already signed the petition and hope that by circulating this to the readers of the Community Bulletin Board (Emily Thornberry-MP, Paul Convery, Rupert Perry and Lisa Spall – our Councillors, and other local notables), I can ask for your support on this issue as well.

Of course individuals can help as well and I would suggest considering the following:

— Write to your MP —

Tom Watson MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on the Royal Mail to allow non-profit organisations to use the postcode database for free. Please write to your MP asking them to sign this Early Day Motion (number EDM 2000) and protest at the actions of The Royal Mail.

You can write to your MP here: http://marples.writetothem.com/

— Sign the petition —

Nearly 1,200 people have so far signed a petition on the Prime Minister's website, please add your name: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/nfppostcodes/

Planning Alerts is a great, and very useful service – check it out – and join yourself.

This entry was posted in Planning, Licensing and Regulation. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Planning Alerts” takes on The Royal Mail – but needs our help.

  1. Paul Convery says:

    I think that Royal Mail’s behaviour is outrageous. It’s a public corporation. They have no exclusive claim on the intellectual property inherent in the postcode address file. It should be a free public resource stewarded by a public corporation. And I think the ingenuity of Planning Alerts and other sites using the postcode API should be encouraged. I would like Royal Mail to settle their awful industrial dispute with the workforce rather than pick yet more fights. Sorry to conflate one sorry story with another but Royal Mail’s management seem to think they are buccaneering entrepreneurs. Wrong. They are running a public postal service. They should start thinking about their public service ethos.

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