When the now Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable pushed through the privatisation of the Royal Mail under the Tory-Lib Dem government I warned that putting profit before service would be a disaster.
At the end of August I highlighted in my Southwark News column the disgraceful impending closure of the SE22 sorting office on Silvester Road in East Dulwich, with the sorting of mail and collections of missed post to be moved to Highshore Road in Peckham.
This means that Royal Mail staff now need to travel from the middle of Peckham almost as far as the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.
The new arrangements have predictably been a disaster for both residents and Royal Mail workers. Residents are still receiving cards telling them to go to Silvester Road in East Dulwich to pick up missed post and are then redirected to Peckham.
Residents of both East Dulwich and Peckham are now routinely queuing for 40 minutes or more to collect parcels and recorded delivery letters from the Highshore Road sorting office in Peckham, with workers reporting that no additional staff have been transferred from East Dulwich to help with the increased volume at the counter service.
Meanwhile dozens of residents have reported only intermittent deliveries of mail, with no letters for as much as a week, then a huge backlog of late mail arriving on a single day.
Royal Mail staff have been spotted still out working as late as 6pm on a Sunday night in a desperate bid to tackle the problems that Royal Mail managers have caused for them.
I have written to the Chief Executive of Royal Mail demanding urgent action. We need the Highshore Road sorting office in Peckham properly staffed and a new pickup office for missed parcels and recorded deliveries to be opened in East Dulwich.
Labour will bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership so that the focus once more is about serving the public, rather than asset stripping and profit maximisation.