Saturday, January 29, 2011

Re The Below Post

Paul has received a reply from the Post Office. For me, a truly interesting fact is that, last year, Royal mail spent £1,037,009 on rubber bands. This was a total order of 760,486,000. I will leave you to read the full reply.

I am, however, glad to say that Paul, who is becoming something of an icon on this blog, is not prepared to let the matter drop. Royal Mail has not stated whether or not this figure refers to red rubber bands or rubber bands in general.

Paul has replied as follows:

Dear Kate Fearn

Thank you for your reply posted today to my FOI request made on 31

The reply does not make clear if the figures provided are just for
red rubber bands. If not, please supply the information requested.

In the meanwhile, let us assume that the data is specifically about
red bands.

By adding your figures for the last five financial year, it appears
a total in excess of £4.7 million was spent on c. 4,000 million red
rubber bands.

According to The Guardian on 2.11.10, Royal Mail letter volumes
stood at 68 million items posted per day. Multiplying this by 6
days and 52 weeks gives in round numbers 21,000 million letters
posted per year.

Divide this product by the number of rubber bands purchased in
2009/10, 760.5 million, and it suggests that a new rubber band is
needed for every 28th letter.

If Royal Mail broadly accepts the maths, I would like an
explanation as to why so many bands are needed.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Burns

Now I'm not sure that the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act entitles Paul to details of why a purchase was needed. My understanding is that it relates to information regarding the numbers, unless there is a specific document outlining the need. If that is the case, we could be in for a lengthy reply and counter reply.

Paul, we are with you for the long haul. Stay at it, you are an inspiration to us all!
I have further declared solidarity at

Follow the progress and read Royal Mail's FOI reply here.


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