Row over which county village is in

By Alison WithersIT is deep in the heart of some of Suffolk's finest countryside and was once home to the famous painter John Constable.But Royal Mail insists the picturesque village of East Bergholt is not in Suffolk, but in Essex.

By Alison Withers

IT is deep in the heart of some of Suffolk's finest countryside and was once home to the famous painter John Constable.

But Royal Mail insists the picturesque village of East Bergholt is not in Suffolk, but in Essex.

The village has tried to have its CO postcode changed once before, along with other villages on the Suffolk side of the Essex border, but to no avail.


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Now East Bergholt Parish Council has written to Royal Mail in another attempt at changing its postcode from CO to IP.

Although the village is geographically on the Suffolk side of the border, its postal address ends with Colchester and it has a CO postcode – and the residents of East Bergholt said that anomaly was causing them a number of headaches.

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The claimed it caused problems with deliveries of ordered goods, it cost more to insure a house in a CO postcode area than in an IP area and it had been known to confuse the emergency services.

Charles Stannett, chairman of the East Bergholt Society, said: "I was given stories about the cost of insurance and the Royal Mail might claim it's more efficient, but I think it's a pain to try to explain where I live.

"One person told about putting in a telephone monitoring system and was told they had been routed to Essex Police. We are told when we dial 999 we must stress we are in Suffolk."

There are also stories in the village of emergency services summoned by control centres from Essex, then stopping at the county border once on realising they were heading into Suffolk so another vehicle had to be summoned from Suffolk.

Royal Mail said the postcode system did not necessarily indicate a precise geographical description, but was a method for the sorting and routing of post so it reached its destination by the quickest and most economical route.

It added it was not possible to substitute the county name for the post town and pointed out mail distribution was subject to a code of practice determined by postal service watchdog Postcom in 2002.

alison.withers@eadt.co.uk

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