Res­i­dents fed up with flat num­ber con­fu­sion

Un­sat­is­fac­tory

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Postal Service Problems - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Miss­ing parcels, un­de­liv­ered hos­pi­tal ap­point­ments and wronglyad­dressed letters oc­curs daily in one Stanhope road.

And now the res­i­dents are call­ing for ac­tion to stop it hap­pen­ing af­ter be­ing in­con­ve­nienced by prob­lem­atic post for three years.

The is­sues started in 2011 when three blocks of flats – called Chil­ham, Whit­field and Pem­bury House – were built in Kil­ndown Close, re­plac­ing two pre­vi­ous blocks.

There are nine flats in each block, but rather than con­tin­u­ing with the street num­bers, the apart­ments were num­bered one to nine.

This means along with the orig­i­nal prop­er­ties in the close there are now four num­ber ones, four num­ber twos and so on, all the way to num­ber nine.

De­spite be­ing called Chil­ham, Whit­field and Pem­bury House, and having dif­fer­ent post­codes to the houses, letters and pack­ages Mar­garet Thorn, Linda Shep­hard, Kevin Gre­gory and Stella Frater are still be­ing mixed up.

Linda Shep­hard, 62 and Kevin Gre­gory, 52, live at 7 Kil­ndown Close and say the prob­lems have re­sulted in miss­ing hos­pi­tal ap­point­ments and los­ing ben­e­fits.

Mrs Shep­hard said: “When they first put the flats up we had other peo­ple’s bank state­ments turn­ing up, in­sur­ance de­tails, all kinds of pri­vate doc­u­ments. We thought it would stop.”

Mrs Shep­hard has con­tacted Ward mem­ber for Stanhope, Cllr Brendan Chilton (Lab) said: ”This has been a prob­lem which has caused enor­mous difficulties for res­i­dents in Kil­ndown Close.

“I have been work­ing with res­i­dents and press­ing the coun­cil for this to be re­solved for over a year now.

“I hope the coun­cil will now lis­ten to me and res­i­dents and work to find a so­lu­tion to this un­sat­is­fac­tory po­si­tion.” Royal Mail, Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, MP Damian Green and Moat Hous­ing over the is­sues, but says it was to lit­tle ef­fect.

She adds: “A lot of the letters meant for the flats have our post­codes on them.

“Or they don’t in­clude the block names in the ad­dress.

“We’ve had birth­day cards with money in them go­ing miss­ing too. Also, Kevin was sent a med­i­cal so that he could re­ceive his Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance (DLA).

“How­ever, he never re­ceived the let­ter. There­fore his money was stopped for two months.

“When he in­ves­ti­gated they said it was be­cause he had ig­nored the let­ter, but he never re­ceived it. So now, the ben­e­fit team have to check he re­ceives his post.”

Neigh­bour Mar­garet Thorn, 69, who lives at num­ber 8, says she reg­u­larly re­ceives post that isn’t ad­dressed to her. She said: “It is very frus­trat­ing. “I ei­ther put them back in the post box with ‘un­known at this ad­dress’ writ­ten on them, or in the past I have taken them to the flats. But I’m not well enough to keep tak­ing them over to the flats.”

Last year, both Royal Mail and Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil wrote to all res­i­dents in the close ad­vis­ing them to use their full postal ad­dress, in­clud­ing flat num­ber, house name, road name and post­code in all cor­re­spon­dence to en­able their mail to be de­liv­ered ef­fi­ciently.

Pen­sioner Stella Frater, 78, of 3 Kil­ndown Close, has had take­aways de­liv­ered to her house late at night and even re­ceived a credit card through the post, and a PIN three days later.

She said: “My bank state­ments weren’t de­liv­ered for two months. In the end I asked for my state­ments to go to my daugh­ter’s home.

“This could be sorted in min­utes.

“All the flats have their own post­codes, so if they were used, the prob­lem would be solved.

“Or if they made sure the block names were in­cluded in the ad­dresses, the letters would go to the right homes.

“But I am not pre­pared to walk over there de­liv­er­ing letters.”

Mrs Shep­hard added: “We want the coun­cil to re­name the part of the road that the flats are on. That is the an­swer.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

“Then the flats wouldn’t be in Kil­ndown Close.”

Dean Woolf, from Moat Hous­ing, said: “We are not aware of any mail­ing dis­crep­an­cies, but the lo­cal Moat team is avail­able to speak with res­i­dents to clear up any is­sues, should they arise. Res­i­dents can call their neigh­bour­hood of­fice on 01233 647 396.”

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM3352740

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