A POSTAL watchdog has said it cannot act on the 50-plus complaints made about misdirected and lost mail in Ellesmere Port.
Both the Post Office and industry watch organisation Postwatch have told the Pioneer that, despite our long-running campaign to improve local mail deliveries, they will take no further action.
Since March 2003 the Pioneer has highlighted more than 50 individual cases of town residents and businesses whose mail has gone missing - some lost cheques, benefits money, important documents, passports and parcels. Several items disappeared despite being sent by recorded delivery.
Many other people complained to us about their mail being wrongly delivered, with one woman even receiving a letter posted in, and destined for, London.
Last summer we sent our bulging complaints file to Postwatch.
When nothing happened for months, we challenged Postwatch, which admitted it had 'mislayed' the file, so we sent the complainants' details to them again at Christmas.
However, Postwatch consumer services officer Karen Holdcroft said she couldn't accept anything from us on behalf of our readers, only from the affected people themselves.
So we decided to make a formal complaint about the missing mail in our name.
After several months of investigation, the Royal Mail replied to us, saying: 'Can we convey our sincere apologies for the obvious concern this matter has caused.
'Although we are unable to make meaningful inquiries into individual losses of ordinary first and second class mail, I assure you the security of our mail is of paramount importance to us.
'The details of all losses reported to our customer services on 08457 740740 are sent to our security and investigation team. They use the information to assist with highlighting problem areas and identifying trends and patterns relating to mail lost in the postal system.
'If information reveals cause for concern on a particular round or route, further investigations will be made.'
Asked if there was a specific problem with mail deliveries in the Port, Royal Mail said: 'We cannot comment on whether or not there are any other problems in the area, as this information is business sensitive and cannot be divulged.'
Miss Holdcroft apologised that Royal Mail's response wasn't as conclusive as we'd hoped.