Public Sector: Royal Mail rejigs council service

The Royal Mail has unveiled a package of proposals to enable councils to communicate better with their residents.

The postal giant came under fire from council communicators at last year's LGCommunications conference, who said its Door to Door delivery system which enables companies to bundle in direct mailshots with their correspondence was difficult to use.

LGComms chairman Martin Watkins said: 'We were dissatisfied with its product. If you wanted it to deliver (council magazines and other communications) you had to book two years ahead. This is not realistic because publications can be time sensitive, if they are about something such as council tax.'

In addition, postcode sectors did not correspond with council boundaries, making it impossible to send out a mailing to just council residents, added Watkins.

But Royal Mail now offers a 'boundary match' so councils that need to contact everyone within their confines will be able to do so, and has shaken up the booking service.

Watkins said: 'This is going to make a big difference because lots of councils use the Royal Mail and it is an important part of service delivery.'

The announcement was made at last week's LGComms annual conference in Liverpool.

Royal Mail national sales manager Tim Cable helped devise the amended service after a series of meetings with LGComms members over the past year (PRWeek, 21 May 2004).

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