MP in sorting office talks

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LOCAL MP Steve Barclay met with Royal Mail representatives Duncan Stephenson, Michael Thompson and Sally Hopkins regarding the proposed closure of the Chatteris sorting office.

He raised concerns at this closure which hits both Royal Mail staff and also constituents who collect parcels locally and questioned among other things about the lack of cost data on the proposed operational savings and why an alternative site in Chatteris had not been considered.

The Royal Mail representatives revealed that the efficiency savings planned from moving Royal Mail staff to March have still not been subject to the Royal Mail’s detailed revision too, which re-plans delivery rounds and takes ten weeks to undertake.

In addition, the March sorting office has also not been subject to this delivery revision tool, so further changes may also take place at this site also although they refused to confirm that March staff will be affected in the future.

Mr Barclay said: “I would have expected this planning work for a new delivery model in Chatteris to have been carried out before deciding to sell the building, and it suggests raising cash from the sale of the building is the key driver rather than savings from changes to the operating model.”

It also became clear that much of the proposed savings would come from saving to staffing costs and Mr Barclay challenged Royal Mail to look to make these efficiencies whilst retaining a presence in Chatteris.

He said: “I accept that Royal Mail needs to make efficiencies and that the current premises may have flaws, but Chatteris as a growing town needs this service and Royal Mail have a duty to look for alternative locations and working patterns to remain in the area.”