This comes when families across Yorkshire have been waiting weeks for urgent letters due to staff shortages exacerbated by a combination of Christmas, Covid staff absences and a commercial decision to prioritise parcels and packets.
And while those facing an uncertain future do deserve sympathy, it is a poor reflection on Royal Mail’s management and leadership team that it has been too slow to react to the public’s frustration over the sacks of undelivered mail piling up in some sorting offices according to some posties in Leeds.
They must raise their game. Not only has there been a reluctance to admit to hold-ups in the delivery of letters – but no acceptance of Royal Mail’s obligations to all those people and businesses who are paying for a service when they post items in the first instance.
This is, potentially, a matter of life and death for cancer patients, and other seriously-ill people, waiting for critical hospital appointments – their angst has been taking a significant toll on their mental health.
Equally there are a number of small enterprises that are reporting significant reputational damage as a result of orders, including perishable goods, not reaching customers within an acceptable period of time.
Given this, it is vital that Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson can be held to account – and that his answers do not go missing in the post alongside all the other items, including personal cards and letters, that are still astray.
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