‘Hand delivery not allowed’

(Guest post by Rupert Lipton) There is a new trend of public organisations refusing to accept documents, applications, correspondence etc. delivered by hand. I have now experienced this three times and it certainly makes my blood boil and seems a wholly inappropriate policy for any public organisation.

The first occasion was when trying to deliver a Private Hire Drivers Licence application to Transport for London’s office in Blackfriars Road a few years ago. I wanted to be sure that the application was received, not trusting it to the post and of course, as a private hire driver what could be more obvious that dropping it by personally. But no, ‘you cannot leave that letter here’ I was told, and ‘if you do, it will be thrown away.’

The second occasion was on serving a legal claim form on the London Borough of Hackney at the Town Hall in Mare Street. Building A said that it would have to be delivered to building B. Building B said that it would have to be delivered to building A. On this occasion, it was immaterial to me whether the legal department actually received the letter – ‘leaving at the normal place of business’ was sufficient for my purposes, and of course I took a photograph to prove it had been so left.

Now just this evening, I was told at the Central London Employment Tribunal in Kingsway, that hand deliveries could only be accepted during working hours. I had earlier emailed a short document to a clerk of the court who had requested the document on behalf of a judge. I had said that I would hand deliver a number of pages of physical evidence which the judge had requested by today. I would have been quite happy to leave the letter in a letter box, but there was none and at just gone 8.00 pm, a security guard was present at the ground floor front desk. Of course, I just wanted the security guard’s name, so that I could be sure that the letter would be passed to the clerk of the court, however, he told me that I could not leave the letter with him and that I must take it away with me.

Maybe there is a good reason for these organisations being so obstructive – I can’t imagine what it is.