A concerned Wooler Parish Council has criticised Barclays for shutting its branch in the town, claiming ‘the full impact has not been properly assessed’.
The Wooler bank will close on November 8, while Rothbury’s will shut on November 2. Barclays plans to leave a cash point in Rothbury, but not in Wooler, saying there are other free-to-use cash points in the area.
Now, the parish council has penned a letter to Barclays and Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, voicing concerns.
Signed by chairman Malcolm Pringle, it states: ‘The biggest impact will come from the withdrawal from the high street of a very focal point. The building will probably still be there but the support it gave to the trading infrastructure of the town will be lost.
‘Glendale Gateway Trust and Wooler traders are working hard to enhance the image of the town and the loss of Barclays will be a major blow to their aspirations.
‘The town and surrounding area has a lot of elderly residents, many of them not very comfortable using internet or other forms of banking. The post office offers an alternative but not the same form of confidentiality that many people expect of their bank.
‘There are a couple of cash machines and a travelling bank linked to the Bank of Scotland visits weekly. If Barclays had offered a travelling bank option many customers may have been better satisfied. I hope that Barclays will rethink their intentions and come up with a solution which will allow them to be a trading presence in the town into the future.’
Last year, the Bank of Scotland closed in Wooler.