‘Blow’ as one of town’s biggest banks set to close

Mayor of South Elmsall Peter Jordan.

Mayor of South Elmsall Peter Jordan.

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The Mayor of South Elmsall has criticised a decision to close the town’s branch of one of Britain’s biggest banks.

Barclays has told customers it will shut its building on Barnsley Road on Friday, November 25. And people wanting to access face-to-face banking services will need to travel more than four miles to the nearest branch at Bank Street in Hemsworth.

Mayor Coun Peter Jordan said the bank was an important part of both the high street and the town’s history.

“It has been in South Elmsall for over 70 years,” he said.

“It is part of the fabric of the main shopping terrace area of Barnsley Road.

“Developers are building hundreds of new houses on the former Frickley Colliery site and in the Westfield Lane area and we need these facilities. We do not want them taking away. There are still many people in the area who cannot travel and have been Barclays customers for years.

“When the pits were open, it used to pay the wages at one of the mines. We cannot really do with losing an important part of our high street.”

Clare Baxter, clerk at South Elmsall Town Council said the closure would hit people who use face-to-face banking services the hardest.

She said: “For people, especially the elderly, who rely on the bank and like to deal with their finances person to person, this is going to be a blow.

“Local businesses, who want to do their banking in their own town, are going to feel it as well.”

The company said declining customer numbers had led to the closure.

A spokeswoman said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices.

“At Barclays South Elmsall branch customer usage has continued to decline and nearly half of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

“We hope that the availability of our other Barclays branch and access to services at the local Post Office located at 9 Barnsley Road, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”