Declining mail

Lord Norton

Each year, I table a question asking how many items of mail were received in the Palace of Westminster in the previous year.  I have previously written on how the number of letters we receive has declined in recent years.  In 2006, for example, 4,789,935 items of post were received.  In 2010, the figure was 3,082,187.  I have now received the answer for 2011.  The figure is 2,691,576.  (Of this, 25 per cent is estimated to come to the Lords.)  As the number of letters we receive decline, the number of e-mails increase.  I have recently been inundated with e-mails concerning the Welfare Reform Bill, but have not had a single letter on the subject.

8 comments for “Declining mail

  1. Dave H
    26/01/2012 at 10:24 am

    It’s much easier, quicker and cheaper to send email.

  2. maude elwes
    26/01/2012 at 10:31 am


    Moving with the time we are in means having to change the once accepted way of doing things.

    A good idea may be to count the emails, that way you would be able to know what you once knew with letters.

    Letters are time consuming, bulky and wasteful. Not to mention costly. People no longer have the time or money for the beautiful letter.

    Sad as that may be.

    Lord Norton, change the modus operandi.

  3. 26/01/2012 at 11:22 am

    I wonder if there is a difference in how Lords (and MPs) deal with printed versus electronic communications?

    With the rise of “clictivism” where a person can click a button and pat themselves on the back for having registered a protest, is there any apparent diminishment in value of emails, even though the volumes are rising?

    I love email for pinging off a quick query in my job, but I can’t get over the impression that a six-paragraph letter will get a better response if sent on paper than instead of email.

  4. Sharon Morgan
    26/01/2012 at 12:55 pm

    If you’re disabled, it’s easier to send email than it is to go out and post a letter.

    • ladytizzy
      26/01/2012 at 7:15 pm

      Some things in life are worth the extra effort.

      • DanFilson
        27/01/2012 at 2:55 pm

        This strikes me as, perhaps – being charitable – inadvertently – a singularly insensitive response. Imagine someone crippled with arthritis hobbling foot by foot to a post box several hundred yards away, always assuming she has the envelope and stamp and was able to pen the letter instead of picking it out on a keyboard. There is a kind of mindset that seems to think that communicating with a member of parliament must require painful effort to be worthwhile. Considering how many achieve their contact by means of dinner parties and similar, this ia a little unfeeling.

  5. Gareth Howell
    26/01/2012 at 3:32 pm

    Yes Electronic communication and commerce a great blessing for the disabled.

    I have recently been inundated with e-mails concerning the Welfare Reform Bill, but have not had a single letter on the subject.

    Letters Patent? Send them e-mail!
    Conveyancing? Send them e-mail!

    Any way Bill Gate and Google will be charging a stamp before long with Bill Gates effigy on the stamp. It comes at a high cost already, in truth. A Pricey pixel policy.

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