Royal Mail’s response to Addiscombe Councillors campaign to keep a Parcel Collection Office at East Croydon

Royal Mail had sent out an email defending its plan to close their Sorting & Delivery centre at East Croydon and move the site to an inaccessible place on a trading estate on Factory Lane.

As local Councillors we do not want to misrepresent Royal Mail and the arguments so we have reprinted their email in full. Royal Mail make a number of statements in support of their money making proposals, which do need challenging.

1) The public consultation Royal Mail undertook was on their new buildings, not on their removal of vital local service such as the parcel collection office, or the place where residents can signed for recorded delivery or pay for mail that didn’t have enough postage. Where in their glossy documents do they mention that many residents would have an hour extra journey to pick up a parcel?

2) Royal Mail proposals doesn’t result in more jobs but leads to a loss of jobs locally. The current Sorting and Delivery Centre and Parcel Collection Office employs many times more people than will be delivered by a few retail units. Cherry Orchard Road area has loss 100’s of jobs over the last few years which have had a devastating effect on local businesses. For example, Bank of America, who employed many highly paid IT workers have recently moved from Galaxy House on Cherry Orchard Road to Bromley. Cherry Orchard Road once had over 1000+ people working in offices and units. The figure today is much reduced. The irony is that Croydon Council new planning guidance states that East Croydon area should be the centre of its office business district, as for one thing its travel connections are so good. But sadly Croydon Council only seems willing to back retail developments or housing schemes of luxury flats, and not office developments which provide jobs that pay much more than the minimum wage jobs the council is such a supporter of.

3) Royal Mail claims the new site will provide a better working environment but their failure to provide a kitchen or canteen shows their disregard for their workers. If providing vending machines is their way of providing better work environment we dread to think what a new improved service for the public actually means.

4) Royal Mail had known for over a year they were going to close this site but during all that time failed to put up one sign or notice telling the public the Parcel Collection Office would be closed. Why, because they know it would be unpopular. Why does Royal Mail think it’s acceptable to put up a closure notice only in the last few weeks?

5) Royal Mail have told staff that the sell-off of the site is a fait accompli, and nothing can be done to stop it. As councillors we know that it is not easy to change large corporations views on matters such as this, but we also know the planning process allow local residents a chance to express their opinions, and to influence the Council’s decision. It is clear that Royal Mail has started to panic and putting more pressure will make a difference.

6) Alternative delivery options. At any one time the Parcel Collection Office has 3000 or so parcels or letters awaiting collection or signing for. Why is this?, because it serves an area where many people live in flats or houses, and where their neighbours are not at home. Central Croydon is an area where most people are out at work during the day, or may not know their neighbour well enough to trust. Also arranging for the redelivery of a package is not as simple or quick as Royal Mail makes out. For example can you imagine what Christmas will be like and having to go to Factory Lane on a cold winter’s day to pay the extra postage on a parcel from your auntie who lives overseas? Or maybe giving up on ordering from Amazon as the Royal Mail can’t guarantee to deliver in time for a birthday as your neighbours are always out.

Our view is clear that Royal Mail’s proposals will have a detrimental impact on Croydon residents and we ask you to continue to put pressure on them and Croydon Council on this issue.

EMAIL FROM ROYAL MAIL

From: “James Mitchell”


Date: 22 Oct 2013 14:58


Subject: Relocation of East Croydon Delivery Office


To: Addiscombe Labour Councillors

Sean, Patricia, Mark,

I understand that you have been leafleting regarding the relocation of East Croydon Delivery Office. thought you might be interested in an update on the relocation of Royal Mail’s operational facilities in Croydon.

As we announced in December 2012, Royal Mail is committed to retaining a delivery operation in Croydon, and we have secured a new site on the Wandle Park Trading Estate, Factory Lane, Croydon.  We are currently undertaking work on this building to make it suitable for our delivery operation.  We expect it will be operational in 2014.

We can confirm that it submitted a planning application for the proposed redevelopment of its delivery office site in Addiscombe Road, Croydon several weeks ago.  This follows a public consultation on our proposal, held in June 2013, which helped to inform the application. Croydon Council has also been consulted on our proposal and have provided input where appropriate. Our proposal seeks to provide a new mixed-use development including residential and retail space. This could also generate employment opportunities in the wider local economy. 

This planned relocation and upgrade of our delivery office in Croydon will provide a better working environment for our people and better facilities for our customers.  It is also part of Royal Mail’s ongoing modernisation of our operations across the country to ensure we have world-class facilities which provide the most efficient and effective network for delivering the mail. 

More detailed information about the new site will be communicated to customers nearer to the date of the proposed move, including details of how customers can continue to collect mail from us if they choose to do so. 

Almost no other company has daily contact with its customers in the way Royal Mail does and we wish to continue providing consistent and high-quality services to our customers in the area.

Royal Mail makes every effort to deliver mail to customers first time.  If this is not possible because they are not at home when we attempt to deliver an item that needs a signature or is too large to fit through the letterbox, Royal Mail can now leave many of these items with a neighbour.  Alternatively, customers can arrange a redelivery free of charge on a day that is convenient for them, or we can deliver the item to a different address within the same postcode area.  This service can be arranged by calling the number on the card we leave or by visiting our website at www.royalmail.com. Customers can also have items delivered to any post office.

We do not expect there will be any impact to the services we provide to our customers in Croydon.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch.

 

Kind Regards

 

James

James Mitchell

Public Affairs Manager

Royal Mail Group

100 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0HQ

Office: 020 7449 8238

Mobile: 07841 569 880

james.mitchell@royalmail.com

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About Sean

Councillor for Addiscombe Ward, 1994-2006, re-elected in May 2010 along with Mark Watson and Patricia Hay-Justice. Since May 2014 Chair of Scrutiny. Lives locally in Addiscombe.
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