Post 'shambles' ends in collect your own

RESIDENTS across Weston are having to pick up their own parcels because Polish nationals are not allowed to knock on customers' doors

RESIDENTS across Weston are having to pick up their own parcels because Polish nationals are not allowed to knock on customers' doors, according to one of the town's postman.This week the Weston & Somerset Mercury spoke to a serving postie, who has worked for Royal Mail for 20 years and who confirmed the reason for the 'shambles' is that the temporary staff 'speak little English'.This leaves residents who are expecting guaranteed next day deliveries or special deliveries to pick up their parcels themselves. Last week the Weston & Somerset Mercury was contacted by former postal worker Sandra Sellers, who says she was at her daughter Annemarie's house in Camden Terrace, Weston, when a slip came through the door.It said that they were sorry she wasn't in and could she pick the parcel up herself from the sorting office in Warne Road. Mrs Sellers also claimed it was because Royal Mail was employing foreign workers who struggled with a language barrier.But when the Mercury contacted Royal Mail they said the cards were being delivered because of the backlog caused by recent strikes.The postman, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said: "I sympathise with Mrs Sellers having to collect her own parcel from the sorting office. This is not the kind of service any customer should have to put up with. "The reason residents are being issued with cards asking them to collect their packages has nothing to do with strikes and backlogs. It is in fact due to Royal Mail taking on casual staff from an agency that provides exclusively Polish nationals. "These staff are forbidden by managers from knocking on doors because they speak little English. The resident who may have been waiting in for a guaranteed next day delivery is left holding a card and has to collect it themselves from the sorting office."I don't like it. We have always been proud of doing our job and so we all feel like this."A Royal Mail spokesman said: "We have now managed to clear the backlog of mail that built up during the recent industrial action. "We apologise to customers, but due to the volumes of mail that were involved, the less experienced temporary members of staff were asked to deliver the cards to customers to give them the option to collect their parcels more quickly under these exceptional circumstances. "This practice has now ceased and the backlog has been cleared."* If you have had similar problems or are a Royal Mail employee, tell us your story by logging on to or emailing

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