Michael Gove, MP for Surrey Heath, visited Camberley Delivery Office today (1 September) to meet Karen Wild, Royal Mail’s Operations Performance Lead for the GU Postcode and David Gold, Royal Mail’s Director of External Affairs and Policy, to discuss the ongoing delays to postal deliveries across Surrey Heath.
During the pandemic, constituents experienced delays to the postal deliveries for understandable reasons but since the start of 2023, Michael has been receiving a growing number of complaints from constituents in Camberley, Old Dean, Frimley, Frimley Green, Mytchett, Deepcut and Tongham that Royal Mail is failing to deliver on a regular basis.
Since the start of the year, Michael has written more than 20 times to Royal Mail to highlight the issue of infrequent deliveries, and Royal Mail has responded on several occasions that they are experiencing issues due to high levels of staff sickness which has led to disruption to deliveries.
Some constituents have reported to Michael that they are receiving only one or two deliveries a week, with some gaps of up to two weeks, and one area in Mytchett has not had a delivery for over 2 months.
Constituents have also reported that the sporadic deliveries have delayed the receipt of important documents from HMRC and insurance companies, and the delays have even resulted in missed hospital appointments and the loss of a pension payment.
Despite his correspondence with Royal Mail, there was little sign of an improvement to the service, so Michael wrote again to Royal Mail on 4 August and this time he requested a meeting, hoping to get to the bottom of the issues and ensure a better service for his constituents.
Although this is an issue that has been ongoing for many months, in Royal Mail’s latest response to Michael on 9 August, it stated that mail deliveries to addresses in Surrey Heath had been affected over recent weeks due to “c.30 per cent of colleagues being away from work though sickness”.
During Michael’s visit to Camberley Delivery Office, he raised issues of staff sickness and delays to deliveries, and also the opening hours of Camberley Delivery Office, which is only open for 2 hours per day (8-10am) Monday to Friday and only four hours (8-12pm) on Saturday, giving constituents little opportunity to collect undelivered items. He was informed that the office was in the process of rectifying some of the processes which were leading to it functioning inadequately and that improvements should be seen imminently.
“Many Surrey Heath residents have not been receiving the service they deserve from Royal Mail, and I have today visited the Camberley delivery office to speak to management about the problems they are experiencing, particularly with unprecedented levels of staff illness.
It was encouraging to hear that they recognise they have been underperforming in Surrey Heath, and that they are making positive changes to improve their service.
I will, of course, be sure to keep in close contact with the team to monitor progress."