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Action to stop banking drain in Long Sutton




Measures to stop Long Sutton becoming a banking wilderness are being taken by parish councillors just months before a branch is due to close.

Personal and business customers of Barclays Bank are still coming to terms with the decision to pull out of Long Sutton when the branch in Market Place closes on Friday, August 10.

The new chairman of Long Sutton Parish Council, stonemason and retired firefighter Coun Richard King, and colleagues agreed to write to Barclays and the Government to raise their concerns about the loss of rural bank branches and its effect on communities.

Coun Richard King, new chairman of Long Sutton Parish Council. (2397442)
Coun Richard King, new chairman of Long Sutton Parish Council. (2397442)

Coun King said: "As a parish council, we're very limited in what we can do.

"But we will send Barclays Bank a letter and we're also very interested in TSB Bank as to whether it'll decide to close its branch in Long Sutton as well.

"So we'll write to them as well in order to get some reassurances because even though a lot of people use online banking, most of the elderly population would like to see someone who can help them if they have a problem."

A TSB spokesman said: "Branches are an important part of TSB but the way people bank is changing fast.

"Therefore, we constantly review our branch network across the country to ensure that we meet the changing needs of our customers.”

Barclays' decision to leave Long Sutton, announced in April, was described at the time as a potential threat to the future of the town centre.

David Wilson, of Geoffrey Collings and Co. Estate Agents, of High Street, Long Sutton, said: "People need a reason to visit Long Sutton these days and Barclays is one of these reasons.

The War Memorial and Long Sutton town centre. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG110112-118TW. (2397872)
The War Memorial and Long Sutton town centre. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG110112-118TW. (2397872)

David Wilson, of Geoffrey Collings and Co. Estate Agents, of High Street, Long Sutton, said: "People need a reason to visit Long Sutton these days and Barclays is one of these reasons.

"Along with the huge increase in business rates, a matter that is still currently unresolved, this decision by Barclays means the future of the town centre is under threat."

Terry Staff, of Barclays Bank, said: "Customer usage of our Long Sutton branch has declined, with more than 68 per cent using online, mobile or telephone banking."



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