The leader of East Lindsey District Council is calling on Barclays Bank to reconsider its decision to close the Spilsby branch.
In a letter formally registering his “disappointment” about the closure planned for November, Coun Craig Leyland said rural communities were being hit hard.
He said in the letter: “I am sure you will appreciate that, following recent announcements of additional high street bank closures in Alford, Horncastle, Coningsby and Mablethorpe, the continued withdrawal of banking facilities within our rural communities will have a significant impact in terms of isolating local residents and businesses from access to dedicated financial advice and services.”
Coun Leyland, who is the council’s Portfolio Holder for Corporate Affairs, pointed out that the authority anticipates the closure will also present associated challenges in terms of “reducing footfall and vitality within our town centres”.
He said: “This is further exacerbated by poorer national investment in Broadband coverage and public transport links in remote areas of our District and the subsequent difficulty this provides for some of our residents to access alternative service provisions effectively.
“We would therefore encourage you to consider what additional community support could be provided to your customer base in Spilsby, especially in the form of regular mobile banking visits (particularly encouraged on market days) and further support to enable customers to access services online effectively.”
Coun Leyland has also asked for the bank to clarify what will happen to any staff at risk of redundancy. He said: “We would also be interested to better understand what support arrangements are in place for any staff at risk of redundancy through the announced closure, and what alternative uses you may be looking to facilitate in relation to the vacated premises in the Spilsby town centre.”
Mayor of Spilsby Coun Mark Gale said he heard the news a couple of days ago and residents are not happy.
“People have been trying their hardest to bump the town up and this is a real blow.
“It puts more pressure on people if they have to travel to Boston or Skegness and they don’t need it these days.
“I think the banks should be supporting towns not pulling out of them.
“This is certainly something the councillors will be discussing at our next meeting and we will be putting our penny worth in. We can but try.”
Nicholas Weaver, Community Banking Director for Barclays said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.
“At Barclays’ Spilsby branch, customer usage has continued to fall, and 74 per cent of our customers now use telephone and online banking, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.
“We hope that the availability of our Barclays branch in Horncastle, as well as access to services at the local Post Office at 1 The Terrace, Spilsby, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”