Email from Catherine West MP for Hornsey about mail in N8 area.
Last Friday I met with Royal Mail to discuss the ongoing problems residents have been experiencing with mail services particularly in the N8, N4 and N10 areas. Councillors Adam Jogee, Elin Weston and Dana Carlin were also in attendance to raise the specific problems Hornsey residents have been experiencing in recent weeks.
I’m extremely grateful to everyone who’s shared their own experiences with me. It’s important to note than many of you have also been in touch to praise your own posties, who’ve been essential frontline workers throughout the pandemic but have been dealing with a higher volume of mail than ever before with fewer people. They need more support and I’ve been calling for a clear Royal Mail action plan including recruiting more temporary staff to resolve the serious local problems.
During the meeting a number of issues were raised including:
Prioritisation of vaccine letters: I am pleased that Royal Mail recognise this issue and all postal workers have been instructed to prioritise vaccination letters which can be identified by a distinct NHS logo. They have also confirmed that such invitation letters do not contain details of a prearranged appointment for recipients to attend to receive the vaccine. Instead, the letter directs the recipient to the telephone number that must be contacted to arrange a vaccination appointment. As such, it is hoped that any fears that appointments might be missed as a result of postal delays can be alleviated.
The need for a sorting office to be reinstated in Hornsey: the ongoing problems with local mail and the growing number of homes in these postcodes evidences that such a sorting office is required, to help alleviate the pressure at the North London Delivery Centre, and to ensure the prompt, safe and stable resumption of postal services in the long-term. As many of you know, I’ve been campaigning for this for some time and I was assured that this request would be passed on for consideration by the relevant parties in Royal Mail. I will continue to raise the issue with the new CEO of Royal Mail.
Action plan to resolve the ongoing issues: the representatives for Royal Mail provided assurances that the North London Delivery Centre (NLDC) is now recovering from the peak in staff absence levels, and the increase in resource capacity will mean that the backlog of post generated during the November-December period is aimed to be cleared by the end of this week. Drop-off points for parcel collection have also been reinstated in the area, after a brief period in which the collection service was suspended due to resourcing issues. With the backlog to be cleared imminently, staff will resume the service standard that has been implemented to last for the duration of the pandemic: constituents can expect alternate day delivery services to resume shortly.
I’m still seeking answers on a number of further issues including details of how many of the newly recruited temporary staff will be allocated to NLDC, written confirmation that the backlog will be cleared and no mail will be disposed of and clarification of what residents should do if they are still waiting for outstanding items. I have written again to Royal Mail on these issues and also want to see a longer-term plan so these problems don’t reoccur.
I hope this update has been helpful and you will start to see a noticeable improvement in the coming weeks. Do keep me updated should that not be the case and I will continue to post any updates on my website: https://www.catherinewest.org.uk/latest-news/2021/01/18/royal-mail-....
Member of Parliament for Hornsey & Wood Green
Thank you. I just feel it shouldn't need masses of complaints and your intervention for them to deal with these issues. They must have been aware and clearly don't care.
Time will tell if things improve. I was unaware of an every other day service to start with. Sometimes nearly 2 weeks between deliveries.
Thanks - FYI we received a letter notifying us of an on-line hospital appointment today, the day after the appointment happened. Fortunately we also had an email notification, but I'm sure that not everyone has this - we are in N4.
7 days ago I posted 2 self addressed envelopes from Crouch End Post office, the first class one arrived the next day however the second class envelope took 7 days to reach Harringay N4.
Maybe the post is slow because everyone is sending themselves letters...
Rather like NHS staff. There is limits to the number of staff. Willing and able work. Not if they can be recruited and be working next day.
I’ve been waiting 10 days for parcels sent first class in January, Whilst the pandemic has clearly caused disruption I don’t think it’s been handled well at all by Royal Mail. I wonder if you can claim a refund for postage if the service is delayed? I can recommend the DHL service at Homebase which has been very reliable. Veolia on the other hand have been fab, our bins have been collected on time through out the pandemic.
Refunds: there's a screed of information here about 'Royal Mail's retail compensation policy for delay'.
The nub of it is that if your delayed letters or parcels were delivered by standard 1st or 2nd class post, your compensation is:
6 x 1st class stamps.
Looks lame, doesn't it?
Mind you, that's £5.10 in value after the recent price rise, so that's now fractionally more than the special delivery compensation, when a £5 payment may be made, rising to £10 for 'substantial' delay.