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Ofcom to review Royal Mail’s demand for councillor protection during SE1 delivery

Watchdog Ofcom has confirmed it will review Royal Mail’s refusal to deliver to a block of flats without being escorted by a 69-year-old woman.

The decision to stop deliveries to the building came after an alleged attack on a postman in the summer of last year.

Though a woman was arrested in connection with the allegation, she was never prosecuted.

Seven months on and there appears to be no suggestion of a return to a normal postal service.

An incident was also reported to the police that the tyres of the Royal Mail vehicle were slashed whilst parked in the vicinity of Rowland Hill House on December 17.

The News reported in January that the postal service company has been providing an escorted delivery arrangement on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, which required Cllr Linforth-Hall, 69, to act as chaperone.

Having reached the third and final stage of an appeal process invoked by Southwark Council, Ofcom will undertake a review of the case and once completed, make a decision.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom has received an appeal in relation to this case, and we will take a decision on the appeal in due course.”

Rowland Hall
Rowland Hall

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “From October 2014, with assistance from a local Councillor, mail deliveries resumed to residents three times a week.  As this assistance cannot be provided long-term, we have written to residents to propose alternative delivery arrangements.

“We are awaiting a response from residents regarding their preferred course of action. We continue to work with the Council to find a way for our postmen to resume deliveries to the block safely and without any further incident.

“In line with the agreed process to resolve these issues, we will be working closely with Ofcom, our regulator.”

Cllr Linforth-Hall said of Ofcom’s review of the situation: “We are hoping that it will be back to normal but they are saying that it is unsafe without me or my fellow councillors there to assist.

“As long as I am a councillor I am willing to do this. I have a commitment to them and they need my help, it’s as simple as that. Some of them cannot get to Mandela Way to collect due to hospital appointments.

“I do not want to make their life comfortable, but at this time I cannot let vulnerable people down. They have to come back with something but what they come back with I have no idea.

“Between the council and the Post Office they have to come to a solution. But unfortunately there is not a solution yet.”


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