Cabinet has already approved new postal delivery regulations that are expected to enhance the delivery of postal services across the island, making life easier for workers.
Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson, disclosed this on Monday to media representatives, as he toured six post offices on the island with officials from his ministry and the Barbados Postal Service.
The tour, which saw him interacting with postmen and postwomen, started in the north, at St. Lucy Post Office, and was followed by the St. Peter Post Office, where Minister Hinkson heard their concerns and challenges in the presence of their supervisors and union representatives.
“On Thursday, in fact, Cabinet would have approved the actual regulations themselves, and they will be shortly laid in Parliament, by way of what is called negative resolution, which would mean that 40 days after, once there are no objections by any member of Parliament, that they will become the law of Barbados. This will make the delivery of postal services a bit easier,” Minister Hinkson indicated.
Elaborating further he said: “It will address a vexing issue, where dogs, for instance, may leave properties, because they are not well harnessed on the properties and harass postmen, and that’s unacceptable. It happened in my neighbourhood, while I was a Minister. I fully supported the stance taken by the Post Office then, not to deliver the mail because the dog was running all about the neighbourhood. So, I experienced this by first-hand knowledge and in that case, the legislation will say look, we are not delivering the mail if it is dangerous to our workers; you have to come and collect your mail for a fee, at the post office.”
The Home Affairs Minister added that in terms of residential developments, once there is a community of more than 50 homes, the regulations will say that there must be a common area where postmen can deliver the mail, rather than have to go to all 50 or more houses in the development.
“For high rise buildings, both office and residential, again, there must be an area on the ground floor where the mail can be delivered. All single homes will have to have a mailbox, because we know again that that is difficult on occasion delivering mail, if there is no mailbox,” Mr. Hinkson stressed, as he further outlined how the regulations would address another challenge faced by postal workers.
He also alluded to a study which is being conducted to ensure the modernization of the island’s postal services, with the aim of making it more competitive, and addressing alternative services it could undertake.
Stressing that the postal services sector was in need of legislative reform, he said this too would be part of the consultancy.