Watchdog to meet Suffolk mail staff

POSTWATCH is to hold meetings with managers at Ipswich Mail Centre after figures released by Royal Mail revealed a fall in the percentage of first class letters delivered on time.

POSTWATCH is to hold meetings with managers at Ipswich Mail Centre after figures released by Royal Mail revealed a fall in the percentage of first class letters delivered on time.

The postal services watchdog has branded Royal Mail's performance in the East of England "appalling" after Royal Mail missed all of its quality of service targets for the three months to June.

Postwatch chairman in the east of England, Charles Winstanley, said: "Missing 100 per cent of quarterly targets is some achievement, but to have declining figures in 6 out of 9 postcodes is appalling."

In the three months to June only 89.7 per cent of first class letters were delivered on time to areas with Ipswich postcodes.


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Royal Mail's performance improved in July, when on-time first class deliveries rose to 90.9 per cent, but that still fell short of the 92.5 per cent target for next day deliveries.

One of Postwatch's major concerns for Ipswich is that at the end of last year Royal Mail was achieving 90.6 per cent of first class deliveries on time, nearly a full per cent more than it did for the three months to June.

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Postwatch described the figures as "worrying" and announced it would raise the issue during a planned meeting with operational managers at Ipswich in October.

Mr Winstanley said: "So far we have met with Norwich managers, and the others are being scheduled. The problems that I have been told about were put down to a mix of staff shortages, regional hub delivery systems that did not work, and unfamiliar new rounds for single delivery."

Royal Mail insisted the improvement in the quality of service figures for July showed its delivery was improving and suggested a three-year improvement agenda, which is 95 per cent complete, would continue to improve its performance further.

"We're going in the right direction - the trend is up," a Royal Mail spokesman said.

"We accept in East Anglia more work has to be done. Since last year we've put in a huge amount of changes.

"We have to take into account all of the changes that have happened in the past year. Clearly we need to see those bed in."

The Communication Workers Union used the release of the figures to express its concerns over what it calls an emphasis on turning around Royal Mail's finances rather than improving service to customers.

CWU eastern regional secretary John Colbert said: "The Union's position is that quick fix initiatives to improve the company's profitability will seriously undermine Royal Mail's long-term financial security if they damage the sustainable service we are able to deliver to customers."

What do you think of Royal Mail's performance? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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