The postman always delivers – except at Cornish town
Only half the homes in a Cornish town are getting daily postal deliveries because of Royal Mail staffing shortages, councillors have complained.
Liberal Democrat councillors Alex Folkes and Sasha Gillard-Loft said they had contacted the Royal Mail about the problems after complaints from residents in Launceston, North Cornwall, about infrequent deliveries.
They said further investigation had revealed that as much as half the town was not being properly covered by the Royal Mail with some people waiting three days between deliveries.
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"There appears to be a significant shortage of postmen and women in Launceston at the moment," said Alex Folkes, Liberal Democrat councillor for Launceston Central.
"I am told by many residents that they are only getting mail deliveries every three days.
"Neighbours have told me that they were finding the same story up and down their street.
"So we talked to the delivery office who said that they are short-staffed at the moment and that the problem is affecting around half the town.
"I know that the staff we have are a very friendly and hard-working bunch, but it's a big problem if there are too few of them and it seems that they are so short-staffed that even doing a bit of overtime can't solve the problem."
The Royal Mail has a universal service commitment to offer a delivery service to every house six days a week.
Mr Folkes and Miss Gillard-Loft, who represents the south of the town, have contacted the Royal Mail and urged it to address the issue as a matter of urgency.
They said they had yet to receive an explanation.
Miss Gillard-Loft added: "Apparently the powers that be further up the line in Royal Mail won't allow any more staff to be employed to cover the deliveries.
"Launceston delivery office's hands are tied and they can only do what they can with the staff they have.
"Whilst we might be communicating more and more electronically, there are still lots of reasons why we rely on the postal service.
"In particular, businesses need a reliable postal service for deliveries to customers including items ordered on-line, to receive parts and raw materials and to get paid. So fewer deliveries risks orders, profits and, ultimately, jobs."
Royal Mail spokesman Val Bodden said: "We are concerned to hear about problems with mail deliveries in the Launceston area, as every letter is important to us.
"We will be investigating the concerns of customers and we would urge anyone with issues about their deliveries to contact Royal Mail customer services on 08457 740740 so that we can track and investigate immediately."