Almost 500 residents sign petition to save TSB branch from closure

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 16 Mar 2017

THE fight against the proposed closure of the TSB Bank at Fiveways has received further backing - with almost 500 signing a petition and ward councillors also voicing concerns. .

TSB have confirmed the branch is due to close in June of this year as part of changes to the bank's network amid a "major investment programme".

More: Plans for bar for former TSB bank

Sidney Sussex ward councillor Hazel Chase has written a letter, on behalf of the ward residents, to the chief executive of TSB Bank, Paul Pester. It has been co-signed by fellow ward councillors Gaynor Rogers and Matt Stinson.

More: View what Councillor Beasant had to say about the closure

Last month we reported on ward councillors Stephen Beasant and Kay Rudd campaigning to save the branch on behalf of their constituents.

In the letter to TSB, Councillor Chase wrote: "We would very politely ask you to reconsider your proposal to close the TSB branch which is situated in the heart of a very large deprived residential area; spreading across three different wards serving a community, many of which are of our senior population, plus a great deal of residents who are not as able bodied as they once were.

"Having to get transport into Grimsby town centre is not an easy option for everyone. Closure of this branch will have an immense effect on the local community and will be a severe loss to all who use it."

Queen Mary Avenue resident Paul Preston, 84 has lived in the area for around 42 years and knows the area well, as an ex-leader of the North East Lincolnshire Community Association.

He said: "People rely on this bank. How can disabled people go from here to up town? I'm not disabled but I can't do it. They are advertising on television that they are a family bank - how can they be?"

Mr Preston has been using the Fairways branch for around five years for general banking and investments.

"I shall go to another bank which is more accessible," he continued.

"We have got 480 signatures and I'm sure we could treble that at least, who want to use this bank. We should have a consultation period before they make their decisions. Len Edwards the butchers have been fantastic and put the petition in their shop."

Councillor Chase saw the announcement in the Grimsby Telegraph and said she felt disappointment at the news.

"Yet again the vulnerable in the local area are being affected by a big commercial company who don't consult their customers. A lot of people have been TSB customers for as long as they can remember," she said.

"There isn't one in Cleethorpes and a lot of residents have said they are not happy with using the hole in the wall facility."

A customer who wished to remain anonymous said: "I think it's disgusting. The customers have not been told by letter - I'm not a happy bunny. I have already moved money somewhere else. There's no letter and no signs up either!"

TSB say they are part-way through a £250 million investment programme in branch and digital banking services, "helping customers get the best of both worlds; great face to face service combined with digital banking".

A spokesman said: "Whilst we continue to focus on upgrading the branches that people use most, some locations are very quiet, serving fewer than 200 people a week. In some cases this is because there is another branch less than a mile away. As a result, we have decided to close 29 branches and focus our investment on those more popular locations."

Councillor Chase also said in her letter: "We all, whatever part of the country we live in, live in a society where antisocial behaviour has become common place. How do you think it would look if our senior residents or in fact any of your customers are made to use a hole in the wall machine only to get mugged?

"We would like to remind you Mr Pester that you have already closed a branch at Old Market Place Grimsby so why hit us twice? We believe that TSB was built to help ordinary local people right across Britain to thrive."

TSB have said that the Grimsby Victoria Street branch, located just over a mile-and-a-half away, "will remain open with better facilities and longer opening hours (open 9am to 1pm Saturday).

"There will be no job losses as a result of these changes and all partners at Fiveways will be offered roles in other nearby branches.," a spokesman added.

What are your thoughts on this closure? Should the branch be saved?

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