Suffolk MP criticises Royal Mail over lack of post boxes

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill with constituents in Gislingham, which has been without a post box f

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill with constituents in Gislingham, which has been without a post box for a year Picture: ANNA TREVERS - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk MP has slammed Royal Mail for a lack of action after some rural residents in her constituency have gone nearly four years without a post box.

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said progress in replacing post boxes in Woolpit Green and Gislingham has “not just stalled but reversed”.

The hamlet of Woolpit Green has been without a working post box since October 2014 and residents in Gislingham have been unable to post a letter in the village since September last year.

The posts at both locations rusted and the post box at Woolpit Green was subsequently knocked down before being removed.

Mrs Churchill has met with Royal Mail and written letters regarding both cases but says communication has “been at a minimum”.

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Royal Mail said plans are in place to replace post boxes at both locations but could not confirm when that would be.

Mrs Churchill said: “It is absolutely disgraceful that for residents of Woolpit Green, a simple post box has not been replaced in almost four years.

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“Procedures are there to ensure these things are resolved quickly, effectively and with the fullest of communication.

“It’s safe to say this hasn’t been the case and doesn’t instil confidence that Gislingham residents will see their post box returned anytime soon.”

Royal Mail responded to Mrs Churchill in August 2017 stating that the post box in Woolpit Green would be replaced by the end of the month.

A year on, and residents are still without a working post box.

Mrs Churchill added: “The collapse of post boxes is significant for residents of rural villages. It is no wonder residents believe that this is yet another step in the degradation of rural postal services as a whole.”

Chris Pitt, chairman of Gislingham Parish Council, said: “It is a regulatory requirement that there is a post-box within half a mile of at least 98% of all ‘delivery points’ nationally.

“Without a working post box in Gislingham, they are patently missing this requirement.”

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “We are planning to install a postbox in both these locations but I don’t have any further information at the moment about exactly when that will be.”

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