Lynne Featherstone MP calls for better replacement services as Royal Mail pushes ahead with local closure

Lynne Featherstone MP and Haringey Lib Dem leader, Cllr Sarah Elliott, met with representatives from Royal Mail last week to discuss the closure of the local Hornsey Sorting Office and parcel collection point.

The local MP for Hornsey and Wood Green had campaigned to halt the plans to close the current site on Tottenham Lane and move the services to the Bush Industrial Estate in N19. Over 1000 residents signed the Lib Dem MPs petition supporting her call.

At the meeting, representatives from Royal Mail told the MP that they would be pressing ahead with the closure, but will be trialling a new service to minimise the impact.

Delivery of all parcels in the area will be attempted between 7am and 9am in an effort to ensure a high successful delivery rate. If the resident is not available to receive the parcel, redelivery will automatically be reattempted the next day between the same hours.

This will be the first time that the service has been trialled anywhere in the country outside of the busy Christmas period, and comes as a result of direct pressure from local residents and Lynne Featherstone MP’s campaign to protect or replace the current service.

But, Lynne Featherstone MP is continuing to press for a like for like replacement service and more flexible redelivery options, in order to offer local people as little disruption as possible.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented

“Royal Mail are reluctant to replace the Hornsey Sorting Office with a like for like alternative in the area, for financial and logistical reasons. But local residents that rely on the service must come first. I do not feel that Royal Mail’s proposed solution goes far enough.

“Customers need the level of service and flexibility they have now and this scheme does not provide that. I think there needs to be more specific redelivery times, which can be specified by the customers – to avoid disruption and spending any hours waiting in for a parcel at the weekend.

“I will be watching their pilot scheme closely but at the same time I shall continue to campaign on the behalf of local people for proper replacement services.”

Lib Dem success as Hornsey Sorting Office closure is put on hold again

Lynne Featherstone MP, Cllr Richard Wilson and Cllr David Schmitz outside Hornsey Sorting Office with petition slips.Lynne Featherstone MP has today expressed her happiness, as Royal Mail confirmed that the proposed closure of Hornsey sorting office has once again been put on hold.

Royal Mail had planned to close Hornsey sorting office and move the undelivered parcel collection point to Holloway. The move would have forced local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels, if they didn’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.

The proposed changes prompted a quick response from the Liberal Democrat MP, who – along with the Haringey Liberal Democrats – started campaigning against the closures. The Local MP then presented a 3000 signature-strong petition to Royal Mail, demanding that the local parcel collection point remain in place.

Following this, Royal Mail put the plans on hold for 6 months to reconsider, giving the sorting office a reprieve. Today, they informed Lynne Featherstone MP that the plans had been put on hold again, for at least another 6 months.

Cllr Katherine Reece, Haringey Lib Dem Deputy Leader, comments:

“This is great news for people in Hornsey. We have been campaigning hard with the local MP Lynne Featherstone to make sure that Hornsey sorting office stays open and people can collect their parcels locally.

“I hope that this 6 months delay means that Royal Mail will listen to demands by local councillors and people for a local service and that in the long term the Hornsey office will stay open.”

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“This is a great day for all local residents who use Hornsey Sorting Office to pick up their undelivered parcels and secure mail.

“Once again, the combination of people power and the Liberal Democrats in Haringey has triumphed. A valued local service has been saved for at least another six months – which will include this year’s busy Christmas period!

“Thank you to all the residents who signed the petition and supported the campaign.

“Royal Mail have promised to be back in touch in six months time with any further news – I will of course pass this on to my constituents as and when I get it.”

Highgate parcel collection serviced saved!

Lynne Featherstone MP, Cllr Richard Wilson and Cllr David Schmitz outside Hornsey Sorting Office with petition slips.Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone today welcomed Royal Mail’s decision to continue to allow Highgate residents to pick up their parcels for free at the Archway Road Post Office, in response to months of campaigning by the local Liberal Democrats.

The Royal Mail representatives, who met with the MP this morning, also confirmed that the Hornsey sorting office has been reprieved. Whilst Royal Mail still plans to relocate the sorting office, residents will be able to pick up their undelivered parcels for at least 6 months, and in the meantime an alternative location in N8 for a collection point will be sought.

Royal Mail had planned to close Hornsey sorting office, stop the free collection service at Archway Road, and move the undelivered parcel collection points to Holloway and Tufnell Park. The move would have forced local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels, if they didn’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.

Over 3000 people signed the Liberal Democrat petitions to save services in Hornsey, Highgate and Harringay Green Lanes.

The news has been very well received by the Hornsey and Wood Green MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats, who have been fiercely campaigning to keep free, local collection points since Royal Mail announced their reorganisation in September last year.

Highgate Liberal Democrat Councillor Rachel Allison said:

“I am so pleased that Royal Mail has seen sense, and is retaining the free collection point at Archway Road Post Office.

“Over 500 Highgate residents signed the petition and I’m glad that their views have been listened to by Royal Mail.”

Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Richard Wilson said:

“I am delighted that the threat to close Hornsey Sorting Office next month has been withdrawn, and that Royal Mail will now look for a new local collection point in Hornsey.

“We will carry on campaigning to secure a collection point around the Finsbury Park and Green Lanes area after the office there closed on the 28th January.”

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“From day one, we were adamant that no service should be lost without an equal or better local replacement.

“The news today is very encouraging. We have taken a huge step towards saving vital local services – and it’s all thanks to the residents who took part in our campaign and signed the Lib Dem petition.

“The combination of Lib Dems and people power has once again had a positive effect in Haringey, and we will continue to fight on!”

Last chance to support Lib Dem petition on parcel services that has already been signed by thousands of people

Lynne Featherstone MP at Archway Road Post OfficeMP Lynne Featherstone and Haringey Liberal Democrats are calling on even more residents to support a petition to keep parcel collection services local.

Currently, residents can collect undelivered parcels at local office and collection points in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena on Green Lanes. As part of their reorganisation, however, Royal Mail plans to close these offices and move the collection points to Holloway and Tufnell Park.

The move will force local residents to travel miles to collect their undelivered parcels if they don’t wish to leave parcels with a neighbour, or pay to have them redelivered.

Following a massive campaign effort by the local Liberal Democrats, the petitions to save the under threat services in Hornsey, Highgate and at the Arena in Tottenham have already been signed by nearly three thousand people.

In total, 25,293 addresses will be affected by the changes Royal Mail wants to make.

Cllr Richard Wilson, Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader, comments:

“Nobody should have to travel so far just to pick up an undelivered parcel. Going all the way to Tufnell Park or Holloway will be inconvenient for most people and will be particularly difficult for the elderly and people with mobility problems.

“The Royal Mail must listen to demands from residents for a local collection service for undelivered parcels. If you haven’t already signed the petition please show your support for our campaign and sign the petition.”

Lib Dem MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone comments:

“I am delighted that so many local people have given their support to our campaign to keep local parcel services. I have arranged a further meeting with Royal Mail to present the petition to them. The more signatures we have, the more chance there is of changing their minds.

“Please sign the petition – and encourage your friends and family to do the same – so we can show Royal Mail the strength of feeling on this issue.”

 

Lynne Featherstone MP visits busy delivery office

Lynne Featherstone MP and local Postman in Wood Green Delivery Office

Lynne Featherstone MP last week visited Royal Mail’s Wood Green Delivery Office during their busiest time of year – the festive season.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green was given a tour of the office by a local postman, and met the other staff who were working hard to get all the Christmas cards and parcels out to residents on time.

Royal Mail estimates that 40 million people will do their shopping online – and therefore need parcels delivered. Also, a massive 700 million Christmas cards will pass through the mail system.

Tuesday 18th December is the last recommended posting date for second class mail, and Thursday 20th for first class.

After the visit, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Delivery offices process a huge amount of mail, and are the backbone of Royal Mail’s network.

“Visiting delivery offices at this time of year makes you realise just how busy our post men and women are over the festive period. They work very hard to ensure all our Christmas presents and cards reach us on time.

“I for one would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them a very happy Christmas and New Year.”

Royal Mail plans fail to deliver!

Here’s a copy of my latest Ham and High Column on Royal Mail’s reorganisation – and the affect this will have on my constituency

When I get in and find a little card saying ‘we tried to deliver but you were out’ – I am always annoyed – because it means extra bother. Currently that bother is either re-organising delivery on another day, organising for it to go to a neighbour or popping into Archway Road post office to collect it at my convenience. With my schedule – only the last of those is a real possibility. But that small bother is about to get a whole lot worse!

So imagine how cross I was (on both my own behalf and of course everyone who will be affected) when in September I caught wind of Royal Mail plans to relocate sorting offices (where registered post and parcels usually go) in North London. Our local sorting office services in Hornsey, Harringay and Highgate are under threat.

This is a big deal. The average volume of parcels and mail returned to each office when a customer is not at home stands at 278 items per day. Thousands of local residents will be affected.

Three sorting offices in North London are being relocated. Hornsey sorting office is being closed and the staff and services are moving to N19. Another office on Green Lanes in N4 is also closing – with services being moved to an industrial estate near Tufnell Park. Highgate sorting office, which is currently based in the Upper Holloway office, will also move to the new site near Tufnell Park.

In Highgate, we residents are used to picking up undelivered parcels from the post office on Archway Road. As part of the reorganisation, the free collection point at Archway Road may be withdrawn. Instead, Highgate residents would have to travel to Tufnell Park– or alternatively pay a £1.50 charge per item to pick up their undelivered parcels and post from Archway Road. In short, as the journey to Tufnell Park is not feasible for many Highgate residents, Royal Mail will rather cynically start charging for a service which is currently free.

For Hornsey residents, instead of picking up undelivered parcels and post from the conveniently located sorting office by the station, they will have to take two or three buses – or drive – to N19 to collect them. Residents that use the Green Lanes office will face a similar problem.

The problem is that, in this day and age, very few of us have a spare hour or two in the day to travel to pick up our parcels. It is also incredibly impractical – how will parents with small children or the elderly be able to make the journey and carry heavy parcels back home?

So – I called an urgent meeting with Royal Mail. I requested that they meet with me and Lib Dem councillors from the affected areas. We represented all of these concerns – but unfortunately Royal Mail was unmoved. They responded to me a few weeks after the meeting, saying they would be going ahead with the relocations, and would consider whether or not to keep the free collection service at Archway Road.

So we have decided to step things up. Haringey Liberal Democrats and I are determined to show Royal Mail the strength of opinion on their proposed changes. As part of our campaign, we’ve started petitions, which local residents can add their names to.

We’re calling on Royal Mail to keep our collection services local. This means that, even if they relocate the sorting office, they should create or retain free local collection points – so that we do not have to travel ridiculous and impractical distances to pick up our undelivered parcels and mail.

In January, I’ll be calling another meeting with Royal Mail, and presenting these petitions to them. The more signatures we have, the better chance we have of getting them to change their minds. We already have over 1200 signatures for Hornsey!

I’m certainly not anti-modernisation. Royal Mail should move with the times and look to make their business more efficient and sustainable – but if the current plans go ahead, there will certainly be more losers than winners. It is vital that we convince Royal Mail to take another look at their plans, and adapt them to ensure that we do not lose out.

Sign the petitions here:

Hornsey

Highgate 

Harringay

MP launches campaign to save Highgate collection service

Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has today launched a campaign to retain the collection service at Archway Road Post Office.

Currently, residents can collect their undelivered parcels and special delivery letters at no cost from the Post Office on Archway Road.

Under Royal Mail’s proposed changes, this collection service may be lost. Highgate residents would have to travel to an estate in N19 – or alternatively pay a £1.50 charge per item to pick up their undelivered parcels and post from Archway Road.

Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling on Royal Mail to retain the free collection point.

Commenting, Highgate Lib Dem Councillor Rachel Allison said:

“Highgate residents will be angered to hear that the Royal Mail wants to charge £1.50 per item for a collection service which is currently free.

“Residents rely on this service. To expect them to travel to an estate in N19 to pick items up for free is at best disingenuous and at worst cynical. For most it will mean two buses each way. Many elderly and vulnerable residents are simply unable to do this and will be forced to pay the £1.50 charge to collect items at the post office.”

Lynne Featherstone MP said:

 “When I heard about the changes, I called an urgent meeting with Royal Mail. Rachel Allison and I argued strongly for the free collection at Archway Road to stay. As a result, Royal Mail is now thinking twice.

“Rachel and I will continue to fight hard for this free collection service – but we really need your help. We need to show Royal Mail how strong public opinion is – that’s why we’re encouraging as many people as possible to sign our petition.”

Sign the petition here: http://campaigns.libdems.org.uk/parcelN6