People living in and around Perth 'waiting weeks' to receive delayed mail

By Paul Cargill

People living in and around Perth are having to wait several weeks for some items of post to be delivered to their homes, local MP Pete Wishart has told the PA.

The Perth and North Perthshire MP says the delays are causing “significant issues” for householders and businesses across his constituency, including residents in Tulloch, Scone and Kinfauns.

The SNP MP also revealed this week he has been contacted by Royal Mail staff working in Perth who say they are having to toil under “extremely stressful conditions” to keep batches of mail going out.

He says employees have told him they are being ordered to cancel postal deliveries in some areas on occasions and prioritise parcel deliveries while a backlog of mail continues to build up at the Perth depot.

Mr Wishart spoke of his growing concern about the delays after a Perth resident contacted the PA a week ago claiming not to have received any mail for over a week.

“Our block has not had any mail since Christmas Eve,” said the resident, who stays at Simpson Square. “No mail between Christmas and New Year and no mail yesterday or today (January 6). I know several other people in various parts of Perth who are in the same position.

“I spent 75 minutes on the phone to Royal Mail Customer Service before I finally got through to be told that on their system there was no problems with mail delivery in Perth.

“Obviously there is a communication issue between the delivery office and the customer service centre because that is not the reality. I am now awaiting a large amount of mail - it is getting ridiculous.”

Mr Wishart has now written to the Royal Mail Group’s director of public affairs and policy, David Gold, to ask what is being done to address the delays people have been experiencing getting their mail and the pressure staff are being put under to keep deliveries going out.

He told the PA: “I am deeply concerned by these very serious reports.

“The Royal Mail is duty bound to provide a high standard of service. From these complaints, it is evident that their obligations to the public are not being met, and this is causing substantial disruption across the community.

“Among the complaints is a constituent whose e-commerce business has seen losses as a result of the delivery delays, and another who waited several weeks for a hospital appointment letter.

“I fully appreciate that Covid has had an immense impact on service provisions.

“However, it is the case that other organisations have been required to work under similar circumstances and have managed to adapt and continue to provide a sufficient level of service.

“It is clear that there is a serious staffing shortage at the sorting office, which is putting unbearable pressure on the staff that are there.

“I have asked Mr Gold for clarity on what exactly is being done to address this critical situation and urged him to put in place a robust recruitment plan as a matter of top priority.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said yesterday: “We aim to deliver to all addresses we have mail for, six days a week.

“In a small number of local offices this may temporarily not be possible due to local issues such as COVID-related self-isolation, higher than usual levels of sickness absence, resourcing or other local factors.

“We are providing targeted support to the local offices affected by these issues and we apologise to customers for any inconvenience they may have experienced.

“Our postmen and women are continuing to work incredibly hard, as they have done throughout the pandemic, and we are thankful for all of their efforts and determination.”

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