City Council postal move

As reported in yesterday’s Courier, there is a proposal by the City Council to stop using Royal Mail to handle its second-class mail from 1st July and to use TNT Post, the largest private postal sector operator in the UK instead.

As I indicated to the Courier :

“Everyone accepts that, in the current financial climate, the council needs to get best value wherever possible but we must also be confident we’re getting a quality service and that correspondence will be delivered promptly.

“I suspect the decision is more about securing best value than in response to the problems experienced during the introduction of the Royal Mail’s new delivery system.”

I raised the issue of quality of proposed service and the City Council’s Corporate Improvement Manager has advised me that :

“This report is very much about making a saving without any detrimental impact on service. A pilot was undertaken to ensure that the process of using TNT was sound as it involved changes to how mail was prepared for issue and also to establish what savings could actually be realised. There were no issues in the handling of our mail by them. TNT however do not deliver the mail to our citizens that is still undertaken by Royal Mail.

As a result of the success of the pilot and savings possible, the above report is being brought forward to roll out the service Council wide.”

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Meeting with Royal Mail

Yesterday, along with five fellow councillors representing wards in other parts of Dundee and the City Council’s Chief Executive, I met with two senior representatives of Royal Mail to discuss postal issues in the city.

The meeting was primarily as a result of the concerns from councillors who serve communities covered by the Dundee East Sorting Office and therefore much of the discussion surrounded the issues about the mail service in the east of the city.

However, I look the opportunity to raise two issues affecting the West End :

* The Royal Mail intends to roll-out the revised mail deliver system to both the Central and West Sorting offices in due course (the so-called “Way Forward”).    I was advised that Royal Mail has the introduction of the revised arrangements now planned for January 2012 for the West Sorting Office and for June 2012 for the Central Delivery Office.    I made the point that, given the very significant problems introducing the “Way Forward” in the east of Dundee, introducing the new system in much of the west area in the depths of winter was not a good idea.   The Royal Mail representatives said they were ‘sensitive’ to my point so I am hoping that a rethink on a January 2012 start date will be considered.

* I raised the need to retain a City Centre Parcel Collection facility.   Royal Mail has extended their lease at Crichton Street for 6 months but I am anxious to ensure that a facility in the City Centre is retained given its good public transport links and the much poorer public transport links at ‘alternative’ sites such as Baird Avenue.   The Royal Mail representatives committed to informal discussions with the City Council over the future parcel collection facility and I welcome their willingness to have what I hope will be a constructive dialogue with City Councillors over this important facility.

Postal delivery concerns

There has been much attention recently on the problems with postal deliveries in the east of the city, with a huge backlog of deliveries from the Royal Mail Sorting Office at West Pitkerro.

However, as the Evening Telegraph reported last night, there are similar issues in at least parts of Dundee West.   I first raised these earlier this month, but despite assurances from Royal Mail, I have this week received further complaints about erratic postal deliveries and late delivery of mail – complaints coming from the Pentland, Shaftesbury Road and Perth Road areas.  

I have raised constituents’ concerns with Royal Mail’s External Relations Manager and asked for assurances that postal delivery reliability will be restored as soon as possible.

Meeting with Royal Mail

As reported in today’s “Courier” (see http://tinyurl.com/dundeepost), yesterday I met with two senior representatives of Royal Mail, including their Dundee West Sorting Office Manager, to discuss the deluge of complaints I have received over the past two months regarding the quality of mail deliveries across the West End of the City and the wider Dundee West area. The talks were positive and I hope that residents will see improvements to mail deliveries.

I continue to welcome feedback from constituents as I am keeping a close eye on this matter, given the extent of concerns in recent weeks.

This meeting gave me the opportunity to raise the many concerns I have received from residents about detrimental aspects of mail deliveries in the past few months and to specifically go over the problem areas with Royal Mail. The complaints have ranged over a number of aspects of Royal Mail service – late deliveries, lack of prompt deliveries, particular problems with packets and parcels, longer delivery rounds resulting in some mail not being delivered on time and difficulties in getting through to the sorting office on the phone.

I do have to say that the Royal Mail staff did recognise that there have been difficulties but assured me that they are working to ensure improvements. They have assured me that where there are problems with amalgamated delivery rounds and complaints continuing to come in, they will be willing to revise them and we set up direct lines of contact should I continue to receive complaints or concerns from constituents.

With regard to the difficulties of contacting the Sorting Office by phone, I was assured that steps were being taken to ensure that staff were available to answer calls and when this was not possible, an answering machine would be available where residents can leave the details of their enquiry. I hope this will resolve the complaint of people just getting the dialling tone when trying to get through to the Sorting Office.

During the meeting, I went through a list of particular issues in specific streets that have been raised by West End constituents to enable Royal Mail to look into these. Royal Mail is anxious that customers report complaints via their customer service local rate number 08457 740 740 as all complaints are logged and passed on to local staff for attention.

Mail deliveries in the West End

I have arranged to meet Royal Mail representatives later this week to discuss the many complaints I have receieved from constituents about mail deliveries in recent weeks – particularly about the extensive delay in items constituents know have been posted to them actually being delivered.

I have received numerous complaints from constituents from different parts of the West End and am aware that the complaints are also coming from other parts of the city too. There have also been a lot of concerns about real difficulty getting through to the Dundee West Sorting Office by phone.

I therefore approached the Dundee West Sorting Office Manager who has agreed to a face-to-face meeting to discuss the complaints on Friday of this week.

I am hoping to be given assurances that Royal Mail is tackling the delivery problems and prepared to give clear timescales as to when my constituents who have experienced mail delivery problems can expect to see matters improve.

Postal deliveries – meeting sought

As reported in tonight’s “Evening Telegraph” (see http://tinyurl.com/lfbnmm), I have sought a meeting at the Dundee West Sorting Office with the sorting office manager – over continuing concerns over the quality of mail deliveries in the West End.
I have continued to receive many complaints from constituents about mail delivery delays and inconsistent service.
 
When I was last speaking with Royal Mail’s public relations department, I received assurances that whilst there had been some build up of mailsort deliveries – mainly advertising mailshots – the problems were being tackled and that constituents should be experiencing a normal mail service. However, since then, I have continued to receive a steady stream of complaints about mail deliveries from residents in various parts of the West End. I am also aware of similar concerns in other parts of the city.
I have therefore spoken with the Royal Mail’s Dundee West Sorting Office Manager requesting a visit to the sorting office and a meeting with Royal Mail management to discuss the issue. The manager has confirmed that she will be back in touch with me regarding possible dates and times for such a visit this week.

It is very clear to me that there are delivery issues that Royal Mail management have to tackle and I therefore think it important that I discuss my constituents’ concerns with them as soon as possible.