Residents have asked David and me to pursue some issues about the collection and delivery of parcels and about the service provision at Ledgers’ Close in Littlemore. I met two Royal Mail managers this morning and this I what I learned.
The delivery centre in Ledgers’ Close deals with parcels/packets with OX3 and OX4 postcodes. Anything for East Oxford without a postcode will go by default to the delivery centre for OX1 and OX2 in the City Centre.
Royal Mail agree that there have been resourcing issues and there are still 13 vacancies.
Processing the packets/parcels for delivery takes staff up until 09.30 each morning, so deliveries take place from 09.45-14.00. This of course means that those in full-time employment are unlikely to be in to accept deliveries.
Requests for re-instatement of undelivered parcel collection point in Headington
There are no plans to do this at present. There are however a range of options open to people who aren’t in when the postal worker calls, these include:
- request an alternative delivery day (but this will again be from 09.45-14.00)
- request redelivery c/o a neighbour
- request redelivery at a safe place (e.g. shed, garage)
- request redelivery to your place of work
- ask to collect it from Headington PO for 50p
The 50p is to cover the cost of re-routing the parcel from Royal Mail to Post Office Counters Ltd or their franchisee. Delivery cannot be made to local newsagents as Royal Mail has to discharge its responsibility for the safety of parcels.
Regarding the dificulty in parking in Ledgers’ Close, I am assured that Royal Mail employees are required to park their cars elsewhere (at the bowling club round the corner). They cannot see an easy way to resolve the parking issues nearby
Inefficiency of online redelivery service
Emails are now cleared throughout the morning. If an email is received in the afternoon, it will be processed next morning. So if you email on Monday, the earliest you can be sure of getting the parcel redelivered will be Wednesday
Delay in answering the phones at the Delivery Centre
There are 4 people working in the Callers’ Office in the mornings and 2 in the afternoons. If staffing levels are down, they call people in to cover. There is no “The phone must be answered inside three rings” type procedure. They are installing an answerphone so that callers won’t have to hang on the line, this will happen very soon
Under-resourcing of the Delivery Centre
They have 13 vacancies currently. They are filling in with staff opting to do voluntary overtime, and with agency temps on a casual contract. They are desperate to recruit and are keen for parents of school age children to consider applying for delivery jobs, they offer 09.00-15.00 contracts but would welcome offers of working from 09.30-14.30 if more appropriate
Suggestions to take forward
They welcomed the suggestions made by Headington residents to improve services. They will investigate:
- Improvements to missed Saturday delivery service: at present items undelivered on Saturdays are stored at Headington PO over the weekend and transferred to the Delivery Centre on Mondays for re-processing
- Direction to postal staff that initials as well as surnames should be put on undelivered cards so that family members know who the parcel is for!
David and I are contacting the Area Manager for Post Office Counters Ltd to explore other issues and are continuing this liaison work with Royal Mail