Devon

Kentisbeare's 'too slow' postie keeps job after outcry

Kentisbeare post office
Image caption About 870 people live in the village of Kentisbeare

A veteran postman who was "too slow" to keep his village job has been saved after local outcry.

Richard Kemp, who has delivered letters in Kentisbeare, Devon for 25 years, was told by Royal Mail he would be moved to a walking shift in the nearby town of Cullompton.

But, the community rallied to save its postie with an online petition that attracted 450 signatures.

Royal Mail has confirmed Mr Kemp would be "staying on his original round".

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'He is vital'

Leanne Perkins, the landlady of the Wyndham Arms pub, set up the petition, saying Mr Kemp was a "huge part of the village".

"He keeps an eye on people, the older generation of the village, he would be the first one to spot if there's anything not quite right, all of these kind of thing that when you live in a rural place like we do here, is vital," she said.

"He knows everybody, everyone knows him."

In 2014, Royal Mail performed two U-turns over the reinstatement of a postman of 17 years in the village of Lympstone in Devon, following a campaign by local residents.

Ms Perkins said the community was "just ecstatic" when Royal Mail abandoned its plans, adding there were "a lot of tears".

Kentisbeare on the edge of the Blackdown Hills only has 320 homes, but its postal round is spread across the countryside.

Mr Kemp has declined to comment.

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