'We've only just got our Christmas cards' - West Berkshire residents' anger at Royal Mail backlog

  • Watch ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Briere-Edney speaking to residents in West Berkshire.

There's concerns over missing and delayed post that's supposed to be delivered to people living around Thatcham and Newbury.

Video given exclusively to ITV News Meridian shows Thatcham's sorting office. It's claimed it's in chaos and a failure to hire extra staff is being blamed for ongoing delays.

People living in the area have been complaining about the mail system with one person saying she's still waiting delivery of Christmas presents.

Anneliese Meissner ordered Christmas gifts in November, only for them to arrive too late or not at all.

  • Anneliese Meissner is just one of a huge number of people affected.

She said: "Over the last few months I've experienced delays in getting post. I last saw a postman around a week ago, he came to the house and delivered some post but I haven't seen any backlog, I was expecting to see a big pile turning up.

"We have had a few Christmas cards turn up in the last week or so which is nice because it's 'extended Christmas' but apart from that I haven't seen a postman or a postwoman that often.

"Unless you're directly affected by something like this, you don't feel anything. It's when you have a service, it's been running for hundreds of years, it's been perfect and then all of a sudden you need it and then it's gone.

"Whilst it's not necessarily a huge problem and there's alternatives you can do, like going to the local shop rather than buying online for example, it's a pain and it's a service that unfortunately we're seeing less and less of."

  • Video has been handed exclusively to ITV News Meridian showing Thatcham's sorting office.

And while receiving gifts or cards a little late may seem somewhat trivial, we spoke to residents whose insurance policies had nearly lapsed, who'd almost missed medical appointments, and who were fined for paying bills late when those bills had never arrived.

A whistleblower at Royal Mail described the sorting office in Thatcham as complete chaos, and said bad management and a failure to hire extra staff over Christmas are at the root of the problems.

They also said packages were being prioritised over letters, which is not Royal Mail policy.

Royal Mail have denied that's the case and say they take customer's concerns seriously.

A spokesperson told us: "While we have now delivered the vast majority of mail from the period affected by industrial action in December, we recognise that in some local areas our service may still be subject to some delays.

"We are working to fix this as soon as we are able, and are very sorry."