At the start of the pandemic, many of my constituents in the East Dulwich and Dulwich Village areas covered by the SE22 postcode area reported that Royal Mail delivery services had become completely unreliable. For months residents were left without a regular service and at times waited weeks between deliveries. This was not the fault of our posties who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic as vital frontline workers, often providing the only conversation of the day for residents who were spending lockdown alone. The problems in SE22 can be traced back to Royal Mail’s disastrous decision to close the SE22 delivery office on Silvester Road without opening a new delivery office in the SE22 area. Royal Mail should never have been privatised, and the sale of sites such as the Silvester Road delivery office to the highest bidder is just one example of how privatisation has failed.
I have raised these issues repeatedly with Royal Mail and with Ofcom, but it is clear that there is a need for stronger regulation to ensure the reliability of Royal Mail services. This includes the need for delivery office closures to be subject to public consultation and requirements for Royal Mail to take on more staff in times of emergency. There is also an urgent need for more transparent monitoring of services. Royal Mail refuses to provide data at a postcode level making it impossible to accurately assess the quality of service. Ultimately, we need an end to the failed privatisation of this vital public service. You can see part of my recent speech below>>