Needham Market: Campaign to save town’s last bank sees more than 2,000 people sign petition calling for Barclays to reverse its decision

Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant with a petition of nearly 2,100 names that has been signed. Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant with a petition of nearly 2,100 names that has been signed.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
7:00 AM

Pressure is growing on Barclays to reverse its decision to close a town’s only bank with a petition attracting 2,000 signatures.

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Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant with a petition of nearly 2,100 names that has been signed.Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant with a petition of nearly 2,100 names that has been signed.

Residents and businesses in Needham Market and the surrounding villages are demanding the banking giant reconsiders shutting the town branch.

The petition which only started last month has been sent out to popular tourist destinations, in some cases several miles from the town centre, as mounting public opinion against the closure increases.

Barclays, which has previously highlighted its “Digital Eagles” team – experts who guide novices on internet banking – has now admitted that going online “is not for everybody”.

Now, residents and councillors backing the petition, are choosing their “next line of attack” – whether to send the petition via post or go en masse to the bank’s London headquarters.

Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant collecting names for a petition where nearly 2,100 names that have been signed.Feelings running high in Needham Market as residents, businesses and customers protest over the impending closure of the Barclays Bank branch in the High Street. District councillors Mike Norris and Wendy Marchant collecting names for a petition where nearly 2,100 names that have been signed.

Julia Truelove, the town’s county councillor, said: “People in outlying villagers still need a bank; they are just as distressed by the proposed closure as people living in Needham Market.Financial services are very important to people; we all use them but it’s also the knock-on effect where people come into the town to do their banking but also shop.

“There are also the advantages of free parking, which is quite different to what happens in Stowmarket.”

Another concern is how older people, who may have mobility issues, will get to Barclays’ branches in Stowmarket and Ipswich.

A Barclays spokeswoman said cash-withdrawals and “everyday” banking needs would be catered for at the nearby Post Office.

It stressed that “around two thirds” of the branch’s customers regularly go elsewhere to do their banking.

“(Internet banking) is not for everybody but if people sit down with colleagues and have a look at what is out there, some people will embrace that.”

Wendy Marchant, district councillor, wished to thank everyone who was working to run the petition campaign.

A Digital Eagles week will start on August 11 in the branch in High Street.

6 comments

  • Like the majority of people, nowadays, I do almost all of my banking online. The old fuddy-duddies of Needham Market need to get with it. We are living in the 21st Century and personal banking services have both fundamentally changed moved on.

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    Caldene Boy

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Here are the facts, not ill informed guesses. There is a cashpoint at the post office but that is inside the shop. You can get cash back from the co op but they often run out of cash and they can hardly be expected to keep enough to keep a village of 5000 + people in cash. Crazy decision by Barclays though, banks really don't give a monkeys about their customers - just a number used to fuel their crazy bonuses

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    Phil Wright

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • Interesting far more people signed the petition than actually use the bank If the bank looses money why should they keep it open? The reality is it has little real impact if it closes. There is telephone & Internet banking and cash dispensers and they can also use their Barclays account to pay in and withdraw money at the post office Would all the people that use it be prepared to pay say a £100 a year to keep it open? I doubt they would

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    BobE

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • I live in a village, not that far from Needham and a few years ago, we lost both our village banks. Petitions did not make the banks change their minds. Us locals seem to manage these days with a post office and two cash machines.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • Victor Meldrew - since you clearly don't live in Needham yourself and only occasionally "drive through", what makes you think you have any real idea of how Needham residents are affected by the closure of this branch and how strongly they feel about it? And what makes you presume that your (outsider) opinion carries more value than theirs? Let them get on with their petition, and good luck to them.

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    blue&white

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • I wonder how many of those people who signed the petition live or shop in Needham Market and then how many of them bank with Lloyds and actually (need to) go in the bank? Whenever I drive through Needham Market, especially during the day, I hardly ever see anyone. (As for cash points, is there not one at the Co-op?).

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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