Passionate Northampton campaigners have joined forces to try and keep their long-serving postal workers in business.
Villages such as, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe could lose their “highly popular” posties who have worked for both communities in the county for up to 15 years.
It is understood that neighbouring villages, such as Harlestone, Brington and Althorp could also suffer the same loss and campaigners have told the Chronicle and Echo that Gayton might not realise that they are set to lose their postal workers too.
Speaking to the Chron, Viv Rees from Ravensthorpe, said: “We have an excellent postie that continues to give a first rate postal service. She knows Ravensthorpe extremely well and as a result is very efficient as well as being very helpful. She is a very, very valued member of the Ravensthorpe community while giving great credit to the Royal Mail.”
Jo Woolard and Maureen Holliday from Pitsford both believe that they are losing a valuable member of the community.
Mrs Holliday said: “We found a lost dog that no one else in the village recognised. The following day when our postman was doing his round, he not only recognised the dog but reunited it with its old lady owner.
“Through their local knowledge, our postmen have provided a fantastic service, become our friends and are viewed as integral members of the community. It is very much hoped that we can keep our trusted village postmen.”
It is understood that a small number of Royal Mail employees want to change their rounds and three years ago a ballot to agree to a re-signing of the delivery walks was defeated.
Community members have said that the Royal Mail are currently having to make changes for financial reasons and a recent ballot of the members was held to agree to these changes.
Maureen added: “The question of re-signing was tagged on the end of this ballot so the workers had to vote for everything. There should have been a separate ballot for the re-signing – that would be democratic.
“The Depot Manager said that Royal Mail has nothing to do with re-signing the rounds, it is out of his hands.
“At a time when we hear in the media constant comments from major retailers and service organisations of their commitment to listen and react to their customer’s opinions and wishes, it would seem that the Royal Mail in Northampton has other views.”
Royal Mail spokesperson, Morag Turnbull said: “We are pleased that our customers in Pitsford and Ravensthorpe have had such excellent service. It is always gratifying when our customers recognise the hard work of their postman or woman. We need to continually review our operation in the light of falling mail volumes and a change in what we deliver – fewer letters and more parcels. As such, some customers may notice that a different postman or woman will deliver their mail. However, we can assure customers that all our staff are trained to the same high standards and quality of service will be maintained.
“When changes to our operation become necessary, we allocate routes based on seniority. This is agreed between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union, who represent our employees. Royal Mail is committed to this agreement. “We wish to reiterate that we fully understand our customers’ concerns, and recognise how important long-serving postmen and women are to the communities they serve. We’d also like to reassure customers that all our postmen and women are trained to a very high standard and Royal Mail will continue to deliver a high quality service in the Northamptonshire area.”