The problem with Royal Mail (County Standard 15 December) is not simply that they are failing to fulfil their legal requirement to deliver letters 6 days a week. It is that they are actively seeking to avoid any public scrutiny of this. Two months ago I submitted a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to Royal Mail asking how many streets on Mersea Island had not received their daily postal delivery in the last six months. I received an almost immediate response from someone at Royal Mail who appeared to be employed solely to tell people like me that Royal Mail was not legally required to respond to FoI requests. He suggested I ask Royal Mail’s customer services – which I immediately did – and have never received a reply.
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP has now kindly put down some written questions in Parliament on the subject. I have also had several conversations with a number of national newspapers including the Sunday Times. They are currently running a major national investigation of the issue after being tipped off by concerned posties that Royal Mail is breaking the law by telling them to de-prioritise letter deliveries so that they can better compete with parcel delivery companies.
For the record, Royal Mail were last month fined £5.6 million by the regulator Ofcom for failing to meet their target of delivering 99.9% of streets on time last year. They were also supposed to deliver 93% of first class mail the next day. Colchester’s delivery office only managed to deliver 71%.
However, I still have one major question I would like Colchester delivery office to answer. Six weeks ago, the bank sent me two important letters posted 3 days apart – neither have ever arrived. So, simple question – is there a bag of mail for Mersea Island still sitting in the Colchester delivery office – or alternatively is mail being stolen? Either way, Royal Mail senior managers have a moral duty to the public to let us know what is happening.
Dr Martin Parsons