Angry Banbury area villagers call Royal Mail assurances 'blatantly false'

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Angry Banbury area villagers have called Royal Mail assurances over their daily deliveries 'blatantly false'.

Hornton residents responded to a survey on their village Facebook page after one resident became frustrated at receiving no mail for 12 days.

Pete Lemon found many neighbours felt the same way. The village lost its regular postman who left the Royal Mail (RM) service some months ago.

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"I got really fed up when we’d had no post for 12 days so I wrote to Victoria Prentis MP asking for her intervention. I got a letter saying it was all fine when she visited the office late last year and complaints had tailed off,” he said.

Hornton residents are fed up with the lack of a regular postal delivery serviceHornton residents are fed up with the lack of a regular postal delivery service
Hornton residents are fed up with the lack of a regular postal delivery service

“I explained that we had no problem last year but we do now. Last week she wrote to me including a copy of a letter from some Royal Mail public affairs guy in London who spouted hogwash about how the Banbury office have told him all is well and we get a six-day a week service.

“I was incensed and told Mrs Prentis I would seek others’ opinions. I put a message on our village Facebook page and sent an email. Everyone is pretty fed up, as since Jools (our old postie) left RM the service has tanked.”

RM told the Banbury Guardian it was not aware of a 12-day gap in deliveries in Hornton or any other area in Banbury. It said it treats every item of mail with equal importance and does not operate a policy of prioritising parcels, a frequent accusation. It quoted Ofcom saying: ‘We did not identify any suggestion that Royal Mail senior management had directed the prioritisation of parcels over letters outside of recognised contingency plans.’”

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RM said: “We would like to reassure residents our service in the local area is improving week on week. Banbury has experienced some resourcing issues recently. Recruitment is ongoing and staffing levels are now returning to normal. A new staff member is currently being trained to ensure Hornton has a regular postman or woman going forward.”

Hornton village lost its regular, established postman some weeks agoHornton village lost its regular, established postman some weeks ago
Hornton village lost its regular, established postman some weeks ago

Mr Lemon said Hornton residents’ responses to the statement included ‘laughable’, ‘rubbish’, ‘ridiculous’, ‘blatantly false’ and ‘what a joke’.

"It is a fact there were no Royal Mail post deliveries in Hornton for 12 days from Good Friday. We know quite a few people with direct contact with the sorting office and this is confirmed by them all. This is the tip of the iceberg. Other areas including Horley and Warmington have suffered dearths of deliveries.”I could understand that senior RM people in London genuinely believe there have been no problems at Banbury. Who in their right mind would admit to such monumental cock-ups?

"The elderly and infirm rely on the post for hospital appointments, letters and drugs. I can communication electronically. Many cannot. I have a photo showing 10 letters from Lloyds Bank which arrived together.

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"Since raising the matter with our MP and newspaper we’ve been getting a better service. Daily for the last six days including weekends. I wonder if there is any coincidence?

"Today I met our new temporary postman. He is a contractor and so may not be a full-time replacement.”

Postal workers say a number have been given extra deliveries on top of their customary delivery areas and morale is worsening.