RESIDENTS are overjoyed after a council gave the stamp of approval to a petition to regain their area’s identity on their post.
Last year people from Portchester handed in a petition of more than over 1,500 signatures to Fareham Borough Council.
This was to protest after Royal Mail grouped Portchester into Fareham – removing Portchester from the postmark – which led to confusion as the two areas share some street na mes.
Lesley Mann, who has lived in Portchester all her life, started the petition. She said: ‘After discussions we have heard the council is fully backing our proposals and now MP Suella Fernandes is fully behind us.
‘We want the old parish boundaries used so Royal Mail can add Portchester back on the addresses.’
In the meeting, councillors suggested an old map showing the St Mary’s parish boundaries should be used by the postal service.
Lesley added: ‘It may seem trivial to some people but we are very proud of our heritage and want to keep our identity.’
Another resident Sam Willis said: ‘We should be proud of where we live, people come from far and wide to visit our castle and our lovely grounds.
‘Portchester has its own postcode like Cosham and Fareham and it should be used.
‘Having it back is important for our post too, as many residents found their personal letters heading to a same road name in Fareham.’
Lesley started the petition after having mail problems with her own business over the years.
She said: ‘We have a paving business and many years ago we used to have a showroom in West Street Portchester.
‘I lost count of the number of times delivery drivers would phone me to say “I’m outside what should be your shop and I can’t find you”.
‘I would say “I bet you are in West Street, Fareham”.
‘It was so annoying.’
Using social media, Lesley got the ball rolling, and said: ‘I was surprised by the number of locals who were very angry and I even asked some postmen what they thought and they said it would be a great idea to have Portchester back on the postal addresses as it did cause confusion even for them.’
Lesley asked Mayor of Fareham Councillor Geoffrey Fazackarley if he would present the petition to the council and then to Royal Mail.
Lesley said: ‘He said he would be happy to help but we would need 1,500 signatures before the council could write to Royal Mail.
‘This was eventually achieved and on December 15 last year and the petition was presented to the council.’
During the meeting, Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘People are proud to come from Portchester. I have had reports from residents that they have got the wrong mail. There is no reason why adding Portchester will impact service, it will only improve accuracy of deliveries.’