Campaign launched by Northampton villagers to stop Royal Mail replacing much-loved postman
'He's our hero, there's nothing you can't ask of him, he goes above and beyond'
Residents of a village near Northampton have launched a campaign to stop its 'hero' postman from being replaced by Royal Mail against his and their will.
Kislingbury's postie, Jonathan Dolling, is reportedly being swapped for two new postal workers in the next few weeks as a computer has generated new routes for its staff.
Campaign organiser Sharon Spencer has enlisted other villagers to get involved, with 239 people signing an online petition so far, and questions being asked of Royal Mail.
The firm said they are proud of Jonathan but the changes are being made to meet increasing volumes of parcels and to ensure a fair workload for all employees.
Ms Spencer told the Chronicle & Echo: "He's our hero, there's nothing you can't ask of him, he goes above and beyond."
Ms Spencer started the campaign after Jonathan told her about Royal Mail's plans three weeks ago, which meant she might not see him after his holiday.
She tried to email Royal Mail about it but found it 'very difficult' and only got 'non-committal responses' and suggestions to contact other departments.
The Kislingbury resident shared the news on a village Facebook group and the reaction led to the campaign and petition, which is also in paper form.
Villagers have also been questioning Royal Mail over email and telephone, including trying to contact the delivery office in Crow Lane, Northampton.
"We're doing all that we can we can to keep our postman, we don't understand the reason for the change," she said.
"Obviously I understand if someone doesn't have a good route or isn't very successful then they need to move.
"But from what we understand, they're taking Jonathan away and replacing him with two people which doesn't make economic sense but he's part of our community so why punish us and him? If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Ms Spencer was full of praise for Jonathan, saying he often stops to chat to people while delivering post and describing him as 'absolutely fantastic and part of our community'.
Vulnerable people in the village trust him, especially during the coronavirus lockdowns, during which he raised lots of money for charity by dressing up in a different costume every day.
Ms Spencer said he has been 'overwhelmed' by the support but does not want to get involved in the campaign in case it jeopardises his job or his relationship with his employer.
Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Every day we receive reports of our people going above and beyond in the communities they serve. We are proud of the work Jon Dolling is doing in the community.
"Royal Mail is moving routes for some of its shifts at Kislingbury Delivery Office. These improvements have been put in place to help our people meet the increasing volumes of parcels generated by online shopping and to ensure a fair workload for all our employees”.