Southend Council summit with Royal Mail over closures

Echo: Royal Mail Royal Mail

COUNCIL chiefs will hold a summit with Royal Mail bosses over controversial proposals to close delivery offices this week.

Southend Council has revealed it will meet the company’s decision-makers on Wednesday to discuss the proposals to shut five offices - in Leigh, Shoebury, Great Wakering, Canewdon and Rochford - as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers.

But councillors from all parties have rallied against the plans.

Nigel Holdcroft, the Tory leader of Southend Council, said: “I will make it clear that we are completely united as a council in opposition to these proposals.”

Deputy leader John Lamb added: “We are very concerned by the potential job losses at these closed sites at a very difficult time for the national economy, and the impact this will have on affected families in Southend.

“In Leigh alone, the delivery offices serve a population of some 56,000 people.

“A comparable number of people are served by the Shoebury office, which will have a very significant impact on traffic levels around Short Street if the closures go ahead.”

The spectre of closure hanging over the five delivery offices has sparked spirited campaigns to save them, including petitions which have been signed by more than 4,000 people.

Royal Mail has promised staff, who were briefed on the possible changes last week, there will be no compulsory redundancies and all employees will receive extra mileage payments to cover any lengthened commutes.

Steve Molloy, Royal Mail’s delivery director for Southend, said: “These proposed relocations are part of Royal Mail’s ongoing modernisation of its operations across the country “Our service to customers will continue to be a top priority during the consultations with staff.

“We aim to continue to provide a consistent and high quality service to our customers if these changes go ahead.”

Comments (15)

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3:39pm Tue 4 Dec 12

A.I.K. says...

Staff in Shoebury were told today that they will now be the first office to relocate to Southend and that this will happen on Feb 11th 2013.
Staff in Shoebury were told today that they will now be the first office to relocate to Southend and that this will happen on Feb 11th 2013. A.I.K.
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Nebs says...

It's about time Royal Mail stopped taking the post from other postal services. The other providers just cherry pick, and dump all the non-profitable work on Royal Mail.
It's about time Royal Mail stopped taking the post from other postal services. The other providers just cherry pick, and dump all the non-profitable work on Royal Mail. Nebs
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Tue 4 Dec 12

perini says...

Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers.

No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.
Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails. perini
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Ontheball says...

Well the move of all Southend's work to Boreham has caused all sorts of problems in the East of the county.

Mail that once came early and well sorted, now turns up at any time now, because they are giving priority to mail that goes back down to the Soutrhend area.

Shambles, but then it is Royal Mail!
Well the move of all Southend's work to Boreham has caused all sorts of problems in the East of the county. Mail that once came early and well sorted, now turns up at any time now, because they are giving priority to mail that goes back down to the Soutrhend area. Shambles, but then it is Royal Mail! Ontheball
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Tue 4 Dec 12

marshman says...

perini wrote:
Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.
Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is.
[quote][p][bold]perini[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.[/p][/quote]Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is. marshman
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Tue 4 Dec 12

perini says...

marshman wrote:
perini wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.
Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is.
My neighbours all work and the only time I'm home to go to a Post Office is at weekends - as opposed to going to the sorting office at 0700 on the following day, on the way to work!
[quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]perini[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.[/p][/quote]Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is.[/p][/quote]My neighbours all work and the only time I'm home to go to a Post Office is at weekends - as opposed to going to the sorting office at 0700 on the following day, on the way to work! perini
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Audioman says...

If Royal Mail want to CLOSE them down they will do so,so it is a waste
of time for the Council as Royal Mail will just put two fingers and say
HARD LUCK!!!
If Royal Mail want to CLOSE them down they will do so,so it is a waste of time for the Council as Royal Mail will just put two fingers and say HARD LUCK!!! Audioman
  • Score: 0

9:24pm Tue 4 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Audioman wrote:
If Royal Mail want to CLOSE them down they will do so,so it is a waste
of time for the Council as Royal Mail will just put two fingers and say
HARD LUCK!!!
Audioman - exactly, a done deal. Southend Council can try and appear to be the big noise here but as they themselves are clueless it will go nowhere!
[quote][p][bold]Audioman[/bold] wrote: If Royal Mail want to CLOSE them down they will do so,so it is a waste of time for the Council as Royal Mail will just put two fingers and say HARD LUCK!!![/p][/quote]Audioman - exactly, a done deal. Southend Council can try and appear to be the big noise here but as they themselves are clueless it will go nowhere! Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

9:28pm Tue 4 Dec 12

shoeburyboy says...

Shoebury was sold several years ago RM rent it

Leigh I am sure the posties will agree is not fit for purpose

Wakering was an old garage

Southend could cope if only they had more staff, two people on the counter is not enough at any time of year, went last week at 1pm 20 people in front
Shoebury was sold several years ago RM rent it Leigh I am sure the posties will agree is not fit for purpose Wakering was an old garage Southend could cope if only they had more staff, two people on the counter is not enough at any time of year, went last week at 1pm 20 people in front shoeburyboy
  • Score: 0

12:31am Wed 5 Dec 12

Andycal 172D says...

"which will have a very significant impact on traffic levels around Short Street if the closures go ahead"

Then you should have considered this before you allowed the redesign of the junction at Victoria Circus!

Surely anyone can see that having to drive halfway to Westcliff before being able to turn round and come back to get to the Short Street Sorting Office - and going through the umpteenth set of traffic lights - was a bad idea?

Just a thought but what will the Council do if Tesco wants to finally use the old B&Q site? Because that really will screw up traffic levels!
"which will have a very significant impact on traffic levels around Short Street if the closures go ahead" Then you should have considered this before you allowed the redesign of the junction at Victoria Circus! Surely anyone can see that having to drive halfway to Westcliff before being able to turn round and come back to get to the Short Street Sorting Office - and going through the umpteenth set of traffic lights - was a bad idea? Just a thought but what will the Council do if Tesco wants to finally use the old B&Q site? Because that really will screw up traffic levels! Andycal 172D
  • Score: 0

9:31am Wed 5 Dec 12

Ivanna Goodhump says...

A.I.K. wrote:
Staff in Shoebury were told today that they will now be the first office to relocate to Southend and that this will happen on Feb 11th 2013.
This is a done deal and any attempt by Royal Mail to portray it as not is just disingenuous on their part.

Plans were submitted in October to alter short street to accept more vans and machinery has been removed to create the space.

Comments that collecting packages will be a nightmare are correct. As art of the changes RM are removing virtually all of the large staff carpark at the rear of the site so all the additional staff (100 plus) will have to fight for spaces in the front carpark ( which is overflowing most of the time anyway). Any member of public wishing to collect will find no parking provision other than the pay carpark next door.

RM are desperately hoping that this "next door parcel leaving" is the great panacea and the managers are speaking about it like its the second coming of Christ , but the reality is it won't work as well as intended and people will have to endure the shambles of getting to Short St, which is horrendous even now.
[quote][p][bold]A.I.K.[/bold] wrote: Staff in Shoebury were told today that they will now be the first office to relocate to Southend and that this will happen on Feb 11th 2013.[/p][/quote]This is a done deal and any attempt by Royal Mail to portray it as not is just disingenuous on their part. Plans were submitted in October to alter short street to accept more vans and machinery has been removed to create the space. Comments that collecting packages will be a nightmare are correct. As art of the changes RM are removing virtually all of the large staff carpark at the rear of the site so all the additional staff (100 plus) will have to fight for spaces in the front carpark ( which is overflowing most of the time anyway). Any member of public wishing to collect will find no parking provision other than the pay carpark next door. RM are desperately hoping that this "next door parcel leaving" is the great panacea and the managers are speaking about it like its the second coming of Christ , but the reality is it won't work as well as intended and people will have to endure the shambles of getting to Short St, which is horrendous even now. Ivanna Goodhump
  • Score: 0

10:29am Wed 5 Dec 12

andy:) says...

perini wrote:
Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.
Ridiculous. Its hard to imagine how this move would have 'no impact', it can only have a massive impact.

Its a vicous circle, the service gets worse, less people use RM (there are umpteen courier services that provide a cheaper faster service), RM make less money and make cuts, the service gets even worse and so it continues in a downward spiral.

Andy
[quote][p][bold]perini[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.[/p][/quote]Ridiculous. Its hard to imagine how this move would have 'no impact', it can only have a massive impact. Its a vicous circle, the service gets worse, less people use RM (there are umpteen courier services that provide a cheaper faster service), RM make less money and make cuts, the service gets even worse and so it continues in a downward spiral. Andy andy:)
  • Score: 0

10:34am Wed 5 Dec 12

andy:) says...

marshman wrote:
perini wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.
Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is.
Thats the theory, many people do not want exensive items 'left with a neighbour', often this means giving it so some guy in a flat up the road youve never heard of, hardly secure. Getting it redelivered or picked up from post office is only workable during work hours, most people use the preferred option of picking up their item early morning, later or weekends.

Andy
[quote][p][bold]marshman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]perini[/bold] wrote: Royal Mail has insisted the proposed closures, which would go ahead next spring if approved, will have no impact on customers. No??? How about instead of a 2 minute walk round the corner to having to get car out, a 20 minute drive to Southend and then collect and drive back. THat's just 1 - how many more people will be in the same position?? Let's hope that common sense prevails.[/p][/quote]Unnecessary. Your missed package will either be left with a neighbour or you can arrange redelivery or pick up from a post office. The council's only getting involved because they're worried it's going to show the Short Street junction up to be the totally useless piece of work that it is.[/p][/quote]Thats the theory, many people do not want exensive items 'left with a neighbour', often this means giving it so some guy in a flat up the road youve never heard of, hardly secure. Getting it redelivered or picked up from post office is only workable during work hours, most people use the preferred option of picking up their item early morning, later or weekends. Andy andy:)
  • Score: 0

2:20am Fri 7 Dec 12

Cockle says...

Really, grow up people.

I think I've had to go to Short Street twice in the last year to pick up things I'd missed. Is two trips a year a 'massive inconvenience'? I think not.

Try missing a delivery from TNT, if you can't arrange a new delivery time then you have to go to Basildon......

The trouble with RM is that they are between a rock and a hard place. They have a Universal Service Obligation imposed upon them meaning that they have to deliver to every address in the UK. This USO requiring a daily delivery to every UK address is the really expensive bit of the mail operation. You and I have no real choice but to use RM to post and deliver our mail, however, businesses do have a choice for their mass mailings and various firms are out there undercutting RM on postage rates. If these other firms get the business then they collect the mail and then deliver it to a RM depot, RM then have to deliver it from this point to you, the customer, at a wholesale rate which barely, if at all, covers cost; remember, the expensive bit. Just imagine how this works; the private company picks a mass mailing up in one truck from a big business and delivers it to RM in one hit, RM then has to distribute this mail to thousands of different addresses all over the UK ranging from just down the road to the Shetland Isles, all at a discount rate. The private company pays one driver for an hour or two, RM has to pay for thousands of postmen to deliver those letters.

Any businessmen out there fancy buying into RM?

Basically RM have been forced into a situation where they have to make massive cost savings to survive; savings which will be of no benefit to you or me but which benefit big business mailers and RM's competitors, most of who are foreign. Just have a look at the franking marks on your mail over the next few days and see how many businesses are using RM for their end to end deliveries.

Basically big businesses are benefiting and we are picking up the costs in both increased postage rates and reduced services.
Really, grow up people. I think I've had to go to Short Street twice in the last year to pick up things I'd missed. Is two trips a year a 'massive inconvenience'? I think not. Try missing a delivery from TNT, if you can't arrange a new delivery time then you have to go to Basildon...... The trouble with RM is that they are between a rock and a hard place. They have a Universal Service Obligation imposed upon them meaning that they have to deliver to every address in the UK. This USO requiring a daily delivery to every UK address is the really expensive bit of the mail operation. You and I have no real choice but to use RM to post and deliver our mail, however, businesses do have a choice for their mass mailings and various firms are out there undercutting RM on postage rates. If these other firms get the business then they collect the mail and then deliver it to a RM depot, RM then have to deliver it from this point to you, the customer, at a wholesale rate which barely, if at all, covers cost; remember, the expensive bit. Just imagine how this works; the private company picks a mass mailing up in one truck from a big business and delivers it to RM in one hit, RM then has to distribute this mail to thousands of different addresses all over the UK ranging from just down the road to the Shetland Isles, all at a discount rate. The private company pays one driver for an hour or two, RM has to pay for thousands of postmen to deliver those letters. Any businessmen out there fancy buying into RM? Basically RM have been forced into a situation where they have to make massive cost savings to survive; savings which will be of no benefit to you or me but which benefit big business mailers and RM's competitors, most of who are foreign. Just have a look at the franking marks on your mail over the next few days and see how many businesses are using RM for their end to end deliveries. Basically big businesses are benefiting and we are picking up the costs in both increased postage rates and reduced services. Cockle
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Beth the original one says...

well as they plan on closing rochford, lets hope the postman brings ALL the post with him rather than just a card that says "sorry you were out" when he has a parcel and pops that through the door. It happened to me when a card popped throught the door, i picked it up and ran after postman who then told me the parcel was at sorting office. I was not impressed as a) i was in and then had to go to sorting office to collect the package, i was then told i was too early. i said postman has already admitted that he didnt bother bringing the package so it was definately here and if he didnt mind so much would he go and look on his shelf." lo and behold he came back with an A4 jiffy bag. wtf. So just be warned that postmen dont carry all parcels and willy nilly post in the cards and pray that you are actually out like the card claims. So with these proposed closures, i will now have to drive into southend to collect the parcel that postman couldnt be bothered to bring with him. thanks
well as they plan on closing rochford, lets hope the postman brings ALL the post with him rather than just a card that says "sorry you were out" when he has a parcel and pops that through the door. It happened to me when a card popped throught the door, i picked it up and ran after postman who then told me the parcel was at sorting office. I was not impressed as a) i was in and then had to go to sorting office to collect the package, i was then told i was too early. i said postman has already admitted that he didnt bother bringing the package so it was definately here and if he didnt mind so much would he go and look on his shelf." lo and behold he came back with an A4 jiffy bag. wtf. So just be warned that postmen dont carry all parcels and willy nilly post in the cards and pray that you are actually out like the card claims. So with these proposed closures, i will now have to drive into southend to collect the parcel that postman couldnt be bothered to bring with him. thanks Beth the original one
  • Score: 0

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