22 September 1995

Sign here for doorstep pinta

LABOUR has published a petition stressing the need for the doorstep milk delivery service to continue.

The move follows an announcement by shadow farm minister Dr Gavin Strang (News, June 23) that Labour was launching a campaign to save the doorstep service.

Signatures for the petition will be sought nationally before MPs present it to the House of Commons next year. National Dairymens Association chief executive David Moxon welcomed the move and said customers all over the country would sign the petition.

Supporting the initiative, Milk Marque chief executive Andrew Dare warned the doorstep pinta service would never come back once it disappeared. "Dont let it die from apathy," he appealed.

Dr Strang again condemned the £35 tax on electric milk floats introduced by the government in July, but refused to give an undertaking that a Labour administration would scrap it.

Instead he called for some of the £3bn spent on milk under the EUs common agricultural policy to be used to subsidise doorstep deliveries. He suggested it could be a "green" subsidy by targeting support on the use of the returnable, environmentally-friendly milk bottle.

Both Dr Strang and Mr Dare said they were not attacking liquid milk sales in supermarkets where milk sold for an average 28p a pint compared with 40p delivered.

Low prices were a plus for people on low incomes, said Dr Strang. But doorstep deliveries of milk and other necessities were vital for those who could not travel to the shops. Regular visits by the milkman provided an essential social service for elderly people.

"By demonstrating support throughout the country for the doorstep delivery service, we intend to persuade the government of the need for positive support for this service," he said. &#42