IT’S been a staple part of the identity of Portsmouth – but now the city’s postmark has been dropped and replaced with one from Southampton.
City leaders have expressed their disappointment that all post from the PO postcode area now arrives with a Southampton postmark.
It comes as part of the closure of the mail processing centre at Slindon Street in Portsmouth’s city centre.
Leader of Portsmouth City Council Councillor Donna Jones said: ‘This is the first I have heard of it.
‘I’m disappointed. We’re a city and it’s important that we recognise our city status, particularly as tourists will come to the city and send postcards to friends and loved ones.
‘Portsmouth deserves and should have its own postmark.
We are a city and it’s important that we recognise our city status particularly as tourists will come to the city and send postcards to friends and loved onesCouncil leader Donna Jones
‘I’m going to talk to Royal Mail about this.’
Councillor Frank Jonas, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, said: ‘I would have thought that a city this size and the history we have at least deserved our own postmark.
‘To be linked with our “nearest and dearest” is probably going to upset a lot of people.
‘I’m disappointed that they can’t keep Portsmouth’s postmark.’
Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South, said she is going to look into the issue.
‘That’s bad news,’ she said. ‘I want my letter to come from Portsmouth, not Southampton.
‘I’m very disappointed because it’s important that people know where their post is coming from – and Portsmouth isn’t Southampton. So I will look into it to see what can be done.’
Simon Hart, 41, lives in Havant. He said: ‘I just thought it was very sad. Everything says Southampton now – even from Chichester. It’s a tragedy for the area.
‘I don’t know how long it’s had its postmark but I think it’s over 100 years so to lose it is a big thing.
‘I tested it by posting a letter to myself from The Hard and it had a Southampton stamp.
‘It’s one aspect of the move from Slindon Street.
‘There were concerns over the jobs but the loss of the postmark wasn’t mentioned.’
Tom Norgate, 68, lives in Petersfield. He said: ‘Surely Royal Mail should have been consulting about having a joint postmark covering all these areas?
‘Something could have been done about this.
‘I think that Portsmouth should have some recognition.’
But a spokesman for Royal Mail said: ‘Mail posted from PO postcode areas is now processed at Southampton Mail Centre.
‘We recognise the concern some customers may have at the change of postmark and we are working on design and implementation of a new postmark appropriate to the Portsmouth area which reflects the recent changes to our mail processing operations.
‘First and foremost, any changes Royal Mail makes to its operations are designed to ensure that customers receive their mail as efficiently and quickly as possible.’
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