Fears that strike action by Royal Mail staff could hinder postal voting for a Gloucester City Council by-election have led to calls from civic chiefs to voeters to cast their ballots and post it early. Voters head to the polls next Thursday October 13 to elect a councillor to represent the Tuffley ward.
The by-election is taking place after the death of long serving councillor Colin Organ, who also served as mayor and was the driving force behind the Gloucester Goes Retro festival. However, the Communication Workers Union has called on its members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take national strike action on October 13, 20, 25 and November 28. The Royal Mail staff involved in industrial action want a pay rise that addresses the current cost of living.
In light of the strike, City Council chiefs are encouraging postal voters to return their postal votes by this Monday, October 10 at the latest to ensure they have the best chance of reaching the council in time. Anyone who misses this date is encouraged to contact the council’s elections team on 01452 396203.
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Postal votes can also be taken to a polling station on the day of the by-election. Polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm. Residents can check where their nearest one is on https://wheredoivote.co.uk/ or by calling the team.
Royal Mail has apologised that the strike action is likely to cause some disruption. “We will be working to get our services back to normal as quickly as possible,” their website says.
“Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but we cannot fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workforce. We’ll be doing what we can to keep services running, but you should expect significant disruption on dates when strike action is taking place. “