Parish Council News for September 2020
Rudge to get a Post Box:
In 1635 Charles I introduced a public mail service, finally in 2020 Rudge is to get a Post Box.
Ok to be fair it had one before, next to the Full Moon Pub and well used it was too. However, at some point towards the end of 2019 Royal Mail promptly removed the Post Box saying it was ‘'an immediate health and safety risk as it had reportedly rusted through''. This should be no problem one would think, this must happen all the time, wooden posts rot and metal boxes corrode and given the number of post boxes Royal Mail has they must be replacing the boxes or pots all the time, you can almost image the warehouse full of spares ready to be installed, surely this will be a very quick process, over in weeks?
9 months later and the courier pigeons are still in use. How could it possibly take so long for a Post Box to be replaced? Well Covid is partly to blame, but the other issue has been that the original location of the Post Box was on private land, so rather than seek to replace the box, Royal Mail started to look around for some land in public ownership to relocate the Post Box to. Rather odd given that no one, including the land owners, had ever complained about the location of the box and in fact it was there for good reason, its easy to access and central and if you do drive to it you can pull right in off the road and safely post your letters.
Around mid-February the Parish Council became aware that Royal Mail had been in contact with Mendip District Council to consultant them (but not the Parish Council) about a new location that had been identified for the Post Box on public land. Mendip District Council has not responded to Royal Mail and so Royal Mail were about to proceed to install the Post Box under their ‘'statutory rights''.
However, in Rudge there was ‘'considerable resistance to this location for the reasons that Rudge Lane here is a single carriageway width and there is great concern for the safety of people posting letters and post van drivers'' and so in turn the Parish Council immediately, formally objected to the new location while simultaneously requesting that a Post Box was reinstated at the former location at the Full Moon, with the full support of the Landlords.
The sudden involvement and objection from the Parish Council halted the proposed instalment of the Post Box in a new location and shortly afterwards Royal Mail agree to send out the area manager to site visit - then a global pandemic hit and we all rather forgot about things.
The matter somewhat re-emerged last month when the Network magazine rather randomly published the Parish Councils objection to the new Post Box location that had been made back in February, this out of context publication gave the impression that the Parish council was trying to prevent a replacement Post Box, rather than the actual story of the Parish Council pursuing the wishes of the Rudge residents. But it also did help to highlight that after 9 months, Rudge was still without a Post Box.
In the last few weeks, the Parish Council has pursued the matter and has now received written confirmation that Royal Mail will shortly reinstate the Post Box back in its former location.
I can only hope by the time you read this; the Pigeons will once again be at rest.