VIEW FROM THE HOUSE

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

MEM­BERS of Par­lia­ment con­tinue to re­fer to our ‘post­bags’, even though these days we re­ceive many emails and the elec­tronic mail­box fills up un­ceas­ingly. Royal Mail vans are still reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to the Palace of West­min­ster, though, with a post of­fice deep in the heart of the build­ing. This sorts bun­dles of post for MPs and takes out­go­ing let­ters too, for on­ward de­liv­ery to con­stituents.

The tra­di­tion of send­ing Christ­mas cards may be de­clin­ing a lit­tle be­cause of elec­tronic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, with peo­ple post­ing pic­tures and greet­ings on­line, through so­cial me­dia. The send­ing of greet­ings cards bur­geoned in the nine­teenth cen­tury be­cause of re­forms to the postal ser­vices, to make them more eco­nom­i­cal and re­li­able. The mes­sages on old post­cards of­ten re­ferred to the sender see­ing the re­cip­i­ent later dur­ing the same day, be­cause of the num­ber of de­liv­er­ies. Those mes­sages have been re­placed by mo­bile phone voice­mail and texts.

How­ever, cu­ri­ously enough the fore­cast de­cline in postal ser­vices has not ma­te­ri­alised quite as an­tic­i­pated. The rea­son is be­cause the par­cel ser­vice has ex­panded – and that has come about through the growth in on­line shop­ping. It is not con­fined to new goods as in­di­vid­u­als can put items up for sale on auc­tion or other sell­ing sites.

I saw for my­self the staff at the Royal Mail De­liv­ery Of­fice in Bea­cons­field, sort­ing and dis­tribut­ing parcels on 20th De­cem­ber, aim­ing to get them to the re­cip­i­ents be­fore Christ­mas Day. There was no short­age of bulging mail­bags there, as they car­ried out their work. Our postal ser­vices re­main a vi­tal public link and postal work­ers are busy, work­ing in all weather con­di­tions, bring­ing the post to the front door. The postal worker on the lo­cal round re­mains a recog­nis­able and wel­come visitor to house­holds. Long may this con­tinue.

What’s your view on this? Have your say on our let­ters page

DO­MINIC GRIEVE MP for Bea­cons­field

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