COUNCILLORS in Dartford have waded into the row over the redundancies at the Royal Mail sorting office.

The news last week that Royal Mail was set to close the customer service centre at the West Hill sorting office and make 15 workers redundant caused members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to ballot members over strike action.

Around 85 per cent of the union members voted in favour of the strike which took place on Monday, September 3.

Now members of Dartford Borough Council have issued a plea to the post office to rethink its plans to open a customer service centre in Leeds.

A letter from all the parties represented on the council has been sent to bosses at Royal Mail.

As the News Shopper went to press, there had been no response.

Council Leader, Councillor John Muckle said: “I am clearly concerned to hear of any dilution of the Post Office's customer service base here in Dartford.

“Any job losses are of real concern, not only to those directly affected, but to the community in general whose access to effective locally-based customer service could be put at risk by this move.”

He was joined in his condemnation by shadow leader Councillor Kenneth Leadbetter who hit out at the proposals.

He said: “Any deterioration in postal services in Dartford is simply unacceptable.

“One has to question the logic of consigning local customer service built up over a number of years and transferring that work hundreds of miles to staff with less knowledge of the situation.”

He added: “Over the years, Dartford residents have received a good response from the customer care staff based in Dartford and we do not wish to lose this service.

“I can not believe postal workers in Leeds will understand the requirements and concerns of Dartford residents in the same way.”