Panorama – How Was It For You?

My foray into mainstream TV is over with my appearance on last nights Panorama. I did not know what to expect and was sitting rather nervously awaiting for the program to start. I am extremely grateful to the producer, Andy Bell for giving me the chance to take part, as I really enjoyed the experience.

Two important messages came out of the of the program. One is the scam mail, and the other the Junk Mail, or ‘targeted marketing’ The former message is going to take a lot of work and is beyond my sphere of influence. The latter however is not.

The shear scale of junk mail in Cornwall is huge with around 4000 tonnes of it having to be disposed of by Cornwall Council. The cost is also huge and ranges between £450,000 and £700,000 depending on how much is recycled or sent to Landfill. This is where I can have some influence.

We may never be able to eradicate the plague of junk mail, but we can sure look into persuading the Government to add a surcharge, or levy on the producers of this junk. That way the cost of getting rid of this unwanted mail does not fall solely on the tax payer in Cornwall.

I plan to raise push this point with the help of the Portfolio Holder and the support of my fellow Councillor to lobby Government to allow a levy to be introduced. From briefly speaking to senior officers and the Portfolio Holder they are in agreement that something should be done.

Let’s hope that now this topic has been raised nationally we in Cornwall might be able to do something about it; as at the end of the day it is our money that is paying to dispose of this plague.


  • Gavin Lang, Porthleven

    I rather liked the presenters idea of actually asking for junk mail and then making paper briquettes. I wondered if, in the recycling process, this could not be done on a larger scale, providing a revenue source for the county. Just a thought.

  • juderobinson

    Hi Andrew, good stuff but there is another side of the story about Royal Mail and junk mail – perhaps it is not a levy we need but the end of a subsidy.

    "we postal workers, and you members of the public, are made to pay so that rival companies to the Royal Mail can make a nice profit. This is what Hooper refers to as "modernisation". It is the real drain on the Royal Mail's revenues, and the reason why it is now so dependent on junk mail to survive. Sometimes we are made to deliver our own competitors' junk mail."

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