Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness in East Yorkshire, Graham Stuart, is celebrating news received from Royal Mail’s Chief Executive, Moya Greene, that the use of the former county name ‘Humberside’ has been removed from the data it sells to businesses.
The MP, who launched an innovative campaign using specially-designed campaign stickers to support residents who wanted to return unwanted, wrongly addressed mail said:
“This is a victory for my constituents. Continually, from when I was elected in 2005 I heard from constituents irritated and exasperated by the continued use of the defunct term Humberside on mail and during online ordering. I spent years battling Royal Mail behind the scenes, coming to grips with why they couldn’t simply remove the outdated county names from the data they sell to their customers. My conclusion was that they could do so easily; they countered by saying their customers liked using the old county names for logistics purposes. I didn’t buy that for a minute.
“By 2010 I was so determined to see the back of Royal Mail’s use of Humberside for my constituents that I made it an election pledge to get rid of it. My constituents were telling me that they were writing back to businesses to tell them they lived in Yorkshire, not Humberside, and some were refusing to by goods online from companies whose online forms would only accept Humberside as a county name. Inspired by what my constituents were doing as individuals I decided to help them along by providing them with Humberside Must Go campaign stickers which they could just affix to unwanted mail and return to sender. The stickers were a roaring success with hundreds of East Yorkshire residents asking for them, and then ringing back to ask for more.
“In June, I managed to get Royal Mail’s Chief Executive, Moya Greene, to come to my office so I could explain my constituents’ exasperation. She grasped my constituents’ concerns immediately, and understood my argument that it would be simple to implement. I’m delighted to say that within weeks of our meeting Royal Mail’s data to its customers had been amended so that the old county name no longer forms part of the information it sells to its customers.
“I could not be more happy to have been able to support my constituents in their campaign, and their ultimate victory.”
Beverley resident, David Toulman said, “This is good news for residents of East Yorkshire. It’s ludicrous that we should continue to be addressed as a county that no longer exists. I’m pleased to hear that Royal Mail have finally got the message after eighteen years to correct an obsolete address and am looking forward to receiving mail addressed to East Yorkshire in the future. Graham’s done a good job on this campaign, he promised to get it sorted out and he has delivered on that promise.”
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This is great news for the East Riding and its identity. This has been an issue which many of our residents have felt strongly about and it’s a shame that it has taken nearly 20 years to resolve.”