Geoffrey Cox Q.C., M.P for Torridge & West Devon
HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON SW1A OAA
Wednesday 28th October 2009
Dear Mr McClymont,
Thank you for contacting me about use of the Royal Mail postcode database.
As I am sure you will appreciate, it is difficult for me to offer a detailed comment on an issue that is currently before the courts.
However, it is my understanding that whilst post code information is provided to Royal Mail by local authorities for free, the database itself is compiled and managed by Royal Mail employees, the cost of which is borne by the company.
The rights of the database are therefore owned as an asset by Royal Mail, and I am wary of proposals that would see the Government place additional restrictions on the use of such wholly owned assets by Royal Mail, particularly given the precarious financial state of the company.
As a result, I am reluctant to sign EDM 2000. Since my election I have come to regard Early Day Motions as a pointless absorption of valuable resources. They are seldom debated, rarely brought to a vote and require neither recognition nor response from the Government. They have aptly been described as “parliamentary graffiti” and it has also recently been disclosed that the annual cost of their administration is in excess of £627,000.
I therefore, no longer sign any EDMs, even those with which I sympathise. Thank you again for writing to me.
Geoffrey Cox, Q.C., M.P.
Cox’s letter (pdf 33 kB)