Axminster council slams Royal Mail response to cuts

Explanation over reduced sorting office opening hours is rejected as “abysmal”

ROYAL Mail’ s letter writing skills have been slammed as “appalling” by Axminster town councillors.

They are furious over the organisation’s “abysmal” response to complaints about reduced sorting office opening hours in the town.

The council wrote to Royal Mail officials in Axminster and Exeter to ask for an explanation, but heard nothing back.

Instead, town clerk Hilary Kirkcaldie told them they had now received a response from their head office to say the new times were the result of staffing changes. The employee, who used to be stationed at the South Street depot, was now out supporting the delivery team after 10am, they said.

Mayor Ron Jones said their explanation letter was “abysmal”.

Councillor Jeremy Walden said he had no interest in knowing what the man’s new duties were. The town council’s only interest was in finding out what why the public could no longer get in to collect their mail at a reasonable time.

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He said afternoon opening had ceased and the office now only operated from 7am to 10am, Monday to Friday, and from 7.30am to 11am on Saturdays.

People who got a card through the door saying they needed to collect a letter or package from the office in South Street now had little chance of doing so the same day.

Mr Walden said the reply to their complaint was “not a proper response from a business trying to make money”.

He added: “I think it is appalling. We should say we need the service and how you do it is up to you - and you are getting a lot of money to do it. They would not survive five minutes in the open market.”

Councillor Sue Spiller was angry that neither the Axminster nor Exeter mail offices had replied to their letter seeking an explanation for the cuts.

“I think it is an absolute disgrace not to reply to us, even if they just said they had passed it on,” she said.

Members agreed a proposal from Councillor Chris Scott to invite a representative from Royal Mail to come and explain the situation to them in person.

“But don’t hold your breath,” added Mr Scott.