War Memorial Gary Trouton

Straight Talking

March 2008

Our resident Grump Old Man challenges recent Parish Council decisions to change some houe addresses in Stoke Ferry

As I write this we are currently experiencing some rather unseasonably warm weather, usually warm weather brings out the daftness in some people, and now is no exception. Our distinguished Parish Council have decided that they are able to fix things...that aren't even broken. I refer to the renumbering of houses in Wretton Road. I have spoken to a small number of residents in Wretton Road and they are emphatically opposed to this renumbering.

The Parish Council cite ambulances getting lost as one of their reasons, the other lesser reason is deliveries, post etc. However our postmen all live local and more importantly they are able to read postcodes. The postcode system was introduced by the Royal Mail to enable a more efficient delivery system, breaking down streets into a small amount of properties thereby making them easily identifiable for the Royal Mail to deliver the right letter to the right address. The net benefit to this was that other interested parties were able to utilise this coding system, the Royal Mail make this information available to pretty much anyone, so every time you ring someone like BT or your electricity supplier they ask you for your post code. In fact just about every retailer and utility provider make use of the post code system.

So let's think for a minute (something the Parish Council have not done!) of the ramifications of changing the numbers. The householder will have to notify a huge amount of people about a change of address, this would include banks, mortgage providers, telephone provider, internet provider, electricity provider, mobile phone provider, drivers licence, vehicle registration documents, vehicle insurance. This list is almost endless, anyone who has moved house recently will be only too aware on just how many people need to be notified. Then if you are self employed and have printed letter heads and business cards there will be the cost of changing these. And then there are the hidden problems to contend with like, for instance, credit reference agencies. When ever you apply for credit the retailer will contact a credit reference agency, they check to see how long you have lived at your address, imagine the problems that renumbering Wretton Road will cause, even more so as when you are declined credit you are not given the reason why.

So to recap, our Parish Council wish to cause all this inconvenience and in some cases additional expense because...why? I have no idea, the reason that was quoted to me was ambulances trying to find the correct address in an emergency, however they are fitted with sophisticated satellite navigation systems, not your average £199 Tom Tom sat navs that you can get from Halfords. They are able to input a postcode and from there they are able to pinpoint a location with incredible accuracy. Of course this will only happen if the correct address is given. A quick visit to the Royal Mail website gives the full postal addresses for all properties in Wretton Road. Numbers 1 to 8 have the post code of PE33 9SQ, the Bungalows number 1 to 8 have the post code of PE33 9SL, incidentally the full postal address for the bungalows should look something like this.

1 Council Bungalow, Wretton Road, Stoke Ferry Kings Lynn. PE33 9SL

I understand from the Parish Council minutes that they have received funding for looking into the proposed renumbering of Wretton Road, lets not forget that this funding comes from the tax payers pockets and I also understand that they will be consulting with the residents of Wretton Road on this issue, hopefully after reading this article those affected residents will have an informed view that they are able to give to the Parish Council, that view being 'if it ain't broke don't try and fix it'

Finally, its nice to see Stoke Ferry's transport infrastructure being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, we now have more bus stops than we have buses.

Grumpy Old Man

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