I have been very pleased at the response to my call for help identifying examples of Rutland being ignored in the postal system.
The reaction has been extremely supportive, but there has been a little bit of confusion about exactly what I am seeking to achieve, which I hope to clear up.
The issue is about making sure that in a written postal address Rutland is used as the county name when it should be.
Strictly speaking, a lot of post can get to its destination with just a street address, town and postcode, but many of us like to see Rutland included as well. It is also useful for other companies who deliver goods to use the full details of any address in order to do so.
Importantly, this is not about the postcode. The ‘LE’ part of our postcode just refers to the fact that the post is sorted in Leicester.
Some have argued for changing the Rutland postcode to ‘RU1’ or something similar, but this would make us a special case and isn’t really necessary, as none of our post is sorted within Rutland.
What matters more is the word ‘Rutland’, not the letters and numbers within the postcode. Companies use an official Postal Address File, supplied by Royal Mail, so the origin of this problem lies primarily with Royal Mail. They must ensure that all of their data is accurate.
Incidentally, I am really only talking about the area that covers LE15 (ie most of Rutland). Historically, places at the edges of a county, like those covered by PE9 postcodes, are linked to the county of the closest town, in this case Stamford.
This is a bit of an archaic quirk rather than a rectifiable mistake. The real error, however, is when Oakham and Uppingham are said to be in Leicestershire. That, as we all know, is simply wrong and has been happening too regularly and for too long.
I am using the information supplied to me by constituents to name and shame the companies that are making this entirely avoidable error.
By doing so I hope to put pressure on the Royal Mail to ensure their Postal Address File is accurate and on companies to ensure their data is as well.
Alan Duncan MP
House of Commons