title="Baldons Parish Council in Oxfordshire">

From your MP - Dec 2023

From John Howell MP

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all constituents a peaceful Christmas and to send my best wishes for the year ahead. I know that for many life is not easy and personal and global struggles can weigh us down. Whatever your beliefs I do sincerely hope that the peace of the Christmas season may bring some comfort and joy.

May I also take this opportunity to pass on my sincere thanks to the army of volunteers who give their time to help others in their communities in many different ways throughout the year. Our communities are strengthened by this generous service. Thank you all.

Now to a local issue which is regularly raised with me, that of Royal Mail deliveries. In some specific post code areas across the constituency mail is not being delivered on a regular basis and indeed at times people have not received post for over a week.

I have challenged Royal Mail on this on a number of occasions and in September met with senior staff to pursue matters further. A number of issues were explained as I set out on my website at the time. In a recent follow up meeting I was advised that there have been some changes in senior personnel with someone specifically brought in to oversee improvements to delivery in this area. Whilst due to staff absence and shortages they are not able to guarantee daily deliveries in some areas as yet they have committed to every second day deliveries within the next month.

Where there are delivery problems in specific post codes Royal Mail has promised a local investigation if given the post code detail. Staff shortages remain and if anyone is interested do look online on the Royal Mail website where vacancies are advertised.

It was also interesting to learn that some of the delays are with distribution via third party carriers before mail gets to Royal Mail itself for delivery. With sight of the envelope the team at Royal Mail can use the codes to track the precise journey of a letter to see where the delays are coming from. It was interesting to learn that organisations such as the NHS use these carriers which may explain why some important letters offering appointments are delayed. The situation will remain under review with Royal Mail.

On other matters, if there is a particular issue that concerns you, please do share your thoughts. If you would like to know more about my work on behalf of the Government, and in the Constituency, please do look at my website. The address is www.johnhowell.org.uk. My contact details are also on the website.