The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 21 November 2008

Burns anniversary stamp ‘a huge missed opportunity’ says John Scott

AYRSHIRE MSP John Scott has this week called on Royal Mail to reconsider plans to produce a Robert Burns 250th Anniversary Issue souvenir sheet of stamps - to be launched on 22 January 2009 - but not to make the Burns stamp available for purchase through Post Offices at face value.

After being alerted to the issue by Dundonald-based President of the Scottish Postal History Society, Willie King, Mr Scott tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament on the matter and secured a meeting this week with Culture Minister Linda Fabiani.

[Pictured at the meeting, (left to right): John Scott MSP; David Mekie, President of the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies; Willie King, President of the Scottish Postal History Society; Margaret Morris, President Glasgow Thematic Society; Ian MacPherson, President Ayr Philatelic Society; and Culture Minister Linda Fabiani MSP. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

And, following Mr Scott’s intervention, the issue is now to be taken up with First Minister Alex Salmond.

John Scott MSP said: “The issuing of a stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns is highly appropriate, but the way in which the Royal Mail has gone about it seems to me to be totally wrong.

“Restricting the stamp to a souvenir set means that anyone wanting to use it will have to pay £2.66, so there’s not much chance of them being commonly used.

“This is a huge missed opportunity to promote Robert Burns in the Year of Homecoming both at home and abroad and to raise the profile of Burns and Ayrshire during a year in which we are hopeful of a major tourist spin-off locally.

“I was glad that the Culture Minister was willing to meet at very short notice with myself, Willie King and several of his colleagues, that she made it clear she shared our concerns and that she would raise the matter with the First Minister.

“The Royal Mail must reconsider their position on this matter and commission the issue of individual Burns 250th Anniversary Stamps which can be bought at face value through Post Office branches.”

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