Council leader pledges to keep banking services alive

Barclays Bank in Hawes before its closure.

Richmondshire’s council leader has pledged to fight to keep market town banking services alive.

While she accepts that she may not be able to save Barclays at Hawes she is seeking reassurances that local businesses will still have access to banking services – and local people and visitors will have access to cash.

Councillor Yvonne Peacock is meeting Barclays executives this week following their announcement that the Hawes branch will close in June.

“When this branch closes Hawes will no longer have a bank – and local people, businesses and visitors will have to travel 20 miles to get to one,” she said.

“I want reassurances that there will be some help for these customers – we need measures in place to ensure that the Upper Dales has a ready supply of cash.

“In rural areas people are still big users of cash rather than cards and we need to make sure they can still do that – not push them away to the bigger towns which would be bad for the local economy.

“It is very worrying than from June Hawes will no longer have a bank and I don’t want this to be the start of the slippery slope to no banks in Richmondshire.

She said she will also be lobbying that the existing building keeps a business use.

“The upper floors could be used for housing, but I want to see the lower floor retained for business use,” she added.