Putney to keep second post - for now

Justine Greening welcomes reprieve from Christmas postal chaos

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Following discussions with the Royal Mail at the latest PostWatch meeting, Justine Greening, Putney's Conservative parliamentary candidate, has welcomed the Royal Mail's decision to now postpone the introduction organisational changes in the Putney delivery network until after Christmas but pressed for drastic action to improve local postal services.

The move to a single daily delivery (SDD) was reported in last week's Wandsworth Borough News and had caused significant concern amongst local Royal Mail staff due to the timing of changes to take place over the busiest time of year for the postal service.

Ms Greening said: " Like many local people, I was very concerned to read about the reported changes taking place over Christmas. I am very pleased that when I raised this issue directly with the Royal Mail at a meeting last week, they have now been able to confirm that the changes will now be postponed until after the busy Christmas period. Nevertheless, when the single daily delivery has been introduced in other areas in London there have been significant problems. I'll be working closely with PostWatch, the consumer body, to see how our service levels are affected here in Putney and I will continue to raise concerns over our local service until it improves. "

PostWatch research in London areas that had already had SDD introduced showed levels of dissatisfaction with delivery times as high as 68% in Bow and 74% in Ealing.

SW postcodes already experience the worst service in the London region and have the second worst 1st class delivery rates nationally, with just 82% of first class mail being delivered the next day (Apr 2003 to Mar 2004, Postwatch figures). Only north Northamptonshire has a worse performance.

Justine Greening said that she still had major concerns over the level of service people had locally and had pressed these points home at the PostWatch meeting in Central London last week. "I am concerned that SDD will make our already unreliable service even worse. Only one area in the entire country gets a poorer record for first class delivery reliability. We need drastic improvements to service levels and they should take priority before efficiency drives."

PostWatch has said that complaints from customers to it have quadrupled from 10,000 in 2001 when it was created to 40,000 in the past year.Commenting on yet another post office closure in Princes Way, West Hill, Ms Greening said she was disappointed that local people had yet again been ignored by the Royal Mail and the government.

"PostWatch have supported us in campaigning to prevent local post offices from closing. Its very disappointing that with the most recent closure in Princes Way, local people have yet again been ignored."

October 22, 2004