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So-called savings will deliver more costs

As I'm sure you know by now, they are closing down the delivery offices in Whitstable and Herne Bay, and relocating them to Canterbury. This is being done in the name of savings. It will cost less to maintain a single centralised office than three local offices, we are told. But is it true? I've been working it out.

There are 50 workers each in Whitstable and Herne Bay - 100 workers altogether. It will take about 30 minutes each way to drive to and from Canterbury. So that's an hour of Royal Mail time spent getting postal workers to and from the start of their rounds. They earn £8.86 an hour, so it will cost the company £886 a day, which is £5,316 a week, or £276,432 a year.

That's more than a quarter of a million pounds a year just to get the workforce to the start of their round every day. How is that a “saving” exactly? What kind of accountant adds a quarter of a million pounds to your wages bill and then describes it as a saving?

This is not to speak of the extra pollution of hundreds of vans spluttering about Canterbury during the rush hour or the cost in maintenance, petrol, road tax and insurance. It's not to speak of traffic chaos in Canterbury or parking problems in Military Road. It's not to speak of the inconvenience to customers of having to travel to Canterbury to pick up their undelivered mail.

Those of you who sent a letter to the Royal Mail after the march in Whitstable will know how dismissive they are. It is a business matter, they say; they don't have to consult, case closed. It is time for us to stand up and tell them we demand that they listen, and the case is not closed. The Herne Bay march will assemble at 2pm on Saturday outside the May Lodge Club, Herne Bay, to begin marching at 3pm. I hope to see you there.

Written in Stone: HB Gazette 23rd Jun 2011

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