Helen Hayes MP: Royal Mail decision to close sorting office is just putting profit first

News Desk (04 September, 2018) Columnists

Need for this facility in the area is very high, with residents queuing down the street on Saturday mornings to collect their parcels, and many small businesses reliant on the delivery service

10211Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood

I am extremely disappointed that Royal Mail has now confirmed that the SE22 delivery office on Silvester Road which serves the wider East Dulwich area, parts of Dulwich Village and Peckham Rye, will close on 17 September.

Delivery offices provide a vital service for local residents and small businesses, enabling parcels to be collected and registered post to be signed for. Although the SE22 delivery office has for some years been too small for the volume of parcels it handles leading, in particular, to a situation during the busy Christmas period when for several weeks parcels are sorted in the street, there is no excuse for Royal Mail closing it and not providing a replacement collection facility within the SE22 postcode area.

Need for this facility in the area is very high, with residents queuing down the street on Saturday mornings to collect their parcels, and many small businesses in the East Dulwich area reliant on the delivery office to be able to collect mail conveniently at a time of their choosing rather than having to wait in for deliveries.

From 17 September SE22 residents who have parcels to collect will have to travel to Highshore Road in Peckham – for residents who live in many parts of SE22 including the Dawsons Heights and Lordship Lane Estates or Court Lane at the southern end of SE22, that’s really inconvenient – even more so for residents who are frail or disabled, and families with very small children.

Ever since I found out that Royal Mail was planning to close the SE22 delivery office, I have led a vigorous campaign against it, calling on Royal Mail to provide an alternative collection facility in the SE22 postcode area.

I organised a public meeting, an online survey for local residents, and a protest outside the delivery office; and I led a debate in Parliament on delivery office closures and the impact they are having nationally as well as locally.

I have met with Royal Mail on several occasions, and together with local councillors delivered a letter in person to the Chief Executive of Royal Mail.

It is testament to an organisation which is quite clearly putting profit before the residents it serves that Royal Mail has not changed their plans for SE22.

I am continuing to urge Royal Mail to put public service ahead of profit, provide a replacement collection facility in SE22, and to halt its programme of closures which are so damaging for communities and which have the biggest impact on the most vulnerable.”

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