A COUNCIL will write to Royal Mail after more than 1,500 people signed a petition to keep the name of an area on postmarks.
Fareham borough councillors passionately debated the motion at a full council meeting after it was brought forward by Councillor Geoff Fazackarley.
Isn’t it a part of our heritage and who we are, where we choose to live, where we build our roots?Councillor Geoff Fazackarley
The petition called for the authority to write to Royal Mail to lobby it to maintain the name of Portchester on postmarks.
As reported, the postal service company is set to stop using Portchester in addresses, instead using Fareham as that’s where Portchester’s mail is sorted.
But residents and businesses are concerned this will lead to confusion with some mail, as Portchester and Fareham share the same name for streets such as West Street in both areas.
Portchester takes its name from the Roman fort of Portus Adurni.
Resident Trevor Alford made a deputation at the council meeting.
Addressing councillors, he said: ‘It seems that its Royal Mail’s idea to turn us into this anonymous province and dilute the unique identity of Portchester.
‘Portchester is a very historic location. It was on the radar before Fareham was even thought of.’
Cllr Fazackarley, who represents Portchester East, said: ‘Isn’t it a part of our heritage and who we are, where we choose to live, where we build our roots?
‘So, for somebody in an office to turn around one day and to say “let’s make it one unique area” doesn’t quite work for me.
‘We all have feelings of where we want to be and there are so many people who have lived in Portchester their entire lives who belong to Portchester and Portchester belongs to them.’
Councillor Roger Price, who also represents Portchester East, said: ‘I agree Portchester should keep its name on postal items, as should all areas of the borough such as Titchfield, Stubbington and Warsash.’
Cllr Price said he put a similar motion to Hampshire County Council 20 years ago after postcodes were introduced.
But in response Royal Mail said it did not need the Portchester name to deliver post.
A spokesman said: ‘I fear their response will be the same as 20 years ago.’