CARNFORTH Town Council are urging Barclays Bank PLC to reconsider its decision to close their local branch.

The bank, located on Market Street, is planned to be closed on October 13 after an announcement made by Barclays citing a 'sustained fall' in visits to the branch was the cause of the decision.

The council are urging the organisation to reconsider their decision to close the branch due to concerns it will leave the town without local banking facilities, with the nearest branch being Lancaster.

Councillor Jim Grisenthwaite of the Town Council said: “The announcement that the Carnforth branch of Barclays Bank will close on 13 October will leave the town without any face-to-face banking facilities and another empty retail premises on Market Street.

"Carnforth, like many other towns of similar size, has been slowly recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic.

“This news therefore comes as a body blow not only to local businesses but also to the many elderly and disadvantaged residents, from Carnforth and from surrounding villages, who do not have access to internet banking.

“The news will also increase the pressure on the town’s post office which already experiences queuing at certain times of the day. For the moment, at least, the nearest Barclays Bank is in Lancaster, nearly ten miles away.

“While we welcome the news that Barclays will endeavour to maintain a presence in the community by using a banking van that will call in the town at certain times, this is surely just another example of managed decline.

“In the fullness of time this too will be withdrawn on the grounds that levels of use do not justify the expense.

“The relentless march of the corporate banking organisations towards online services at the expense of local branches should not be regarded as the inevitable advance of technology over out-dated forms of business practice.

“The ordinary person may prefer to do business with another human being rather than wait endlessly in a telephone queue or deal online with a faceless robot.

“Perhaps as corporate banking profits generally continue to increase year-on-year, their boards of directors may one day realise that however they dress up their products, there is no satisfactory replacement for a friendly professional presence on the street corner.

“For that reason, Carnforth Town Council is opposed to the closure of Barclays Carnforth branch and urges the Bank to reconsider its decision because of the detrimental effect this will have on the residents, businesses, and economy of our town.”