WE probably still have one of the best postal delivery services in the world. Where else can you post a letter for less than the price of a bag of crisps and have the item delivered the next day, just about without fail?
And this remains the case despite the competition that has been introduced into the postal system, the squeeze on costs because of the meteoric rise in electronic mail and messaging and the almost ceaseless restructuring that appears to have been taking place in the Royal Mail in recent years.
However, the organisation that is entrusted with delivering our post is far from perfect.
In the second of our reports as part of our Your Right to Know campaign, we can reveal that in South Yorkshire an average of 35 items of post are lost every single day.
There have been more than 192,000 complaints about lost, stolen or damaged post or significantly late delivery in the past six years.
And the Royal Mail has had to pay out £1.8m in compensation.
This, in addition to those complaints that are categorised as either misdelivered, unconfirmed lost or failed to redirect properly.
This may be just a small fraction of the total that is delivered, but it is a significant number, with each item having great importance to the sender or intended recipient.
The Royal Mail should be forced to disclose this information every year so we can properly assess how efficiently they deliver our post.
Give Forum a second chance
IT is worrying that Hillsborough Forum has folded, particularly as it has taken place against a backdrop of the Prime Minister urging the Big Society to step into the breach created by dwindling public finances for community projects.
This is exactly the sort of organisation which is needed to foster community spirit and civic pride when public sector finances are restricted.
The public will be left wondering whether this is a sign that the Big Society idea is a non-starter and the Government has placed its faith in a flawed strategy – or whether there is insufficient appetite in Sheffield to see the concept doomed to failure through lack of local support.
This long-established organisation had a successful track record which shows that with appropriate support from the right quarters people power can make a difference.
We believe that Hillsborough Forum deserves a second chance.