A campaign to save Needham Market’s only bank is gaining momentum, with hundreds of residents signing a petition to stop the closure of the branch.
Since Barclays announced the town’s high street branch will close on September 5, more than 400 people have signed a petition asking the banking giant to reconsider its decision.
Needham Market district councillor Mike Norris said not only would the closure affect elderly and vulnerable residents unable to get to an alternative branch, the town’s businesses would also be hit hard.
He said: “There would be an economic impact to the town – if people travel to Stowmarket to do their banking they may well do their shopping in Stowmarket while they are there too, taking valuable trade away from Needham Market businesses.
“There are also significant residential building works going on in Needham Market in the future – it is a growing town and the decision seems extremely short sighted.
“It seems to be a totally commercial decision without regard for the community.”
Mike and fellow district councillor Wendy Marchant set up a table at the town’s street fair at the weekend to drum up support for the petition.
Cllr Marchant said the campaign was building momentum.
“I am very pleased by the reaction from the community, she said, “People are very keen to keep the branch open.
“For a town the size of Needham Market we really need a bank.”
Cllr Marchant said once the petition was completed it will handed to the chief executive of Barclays.
A spokesperson from the bank said: “We do appreciate the strength of feeling in Needham Market and have held constructive meetings with representatives from the council to discuss how we can support customers before and after the branch closes.
“One result is the planned ‘Digital Eagles week’ starting on August 11 where we will have specialists at the branch helping customers to use their mobile devices to do their banking.
“We are also working to make people more aware that they can undertake their everyday banking at the nearby Post Office.
“We would recommend that anyone with concerns should talk to the staff at the branch and they will be happy to discuss the options available.”