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Hundreds of people have signed a petition to save the last high street bank in Mountain Ash

The fight to save Mountain Ash1‘s last high street bank is gathering pace – despite the fact it hasn’t been put forward for closure. The leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council2 and the leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group within the county borough – who are both councillors for Mountain Ash – have written to bosses at Lloyds bank. They both outlined reasons for keeping the Commercial Street branch open, in a bid to persuade the banking giant it shouldn’t be included on a hit-list of 200 branches which will close.

Hundreds Of People Have Signed A Petition To Save The Last High Street Bank In Mountain Ash RCT council leader Andrew Morgan (left) and leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group within RCT, Pauline Jarman (right)

Lloyds made the announcement on July 28 that it will cut 3,000 jobs and 200 branches3, but did not release a list of those set to close. Last week Pauline Jarman, Mountain Ash East councillor, vowed to be “pro-active not reactive” in lobbying Lloyds4 before a decision was made.

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She collected some 350 signatures for a petition opposing any closure of the bank, at Mountain Ash’s community fun day event on Saturday. In her letter to the chief executive of Lloyds Bank, she said: “Mountain Ash Lloyds is the last remaining bank in the town and its closure would further reduce the financial availability of financial services locally.

‘A devastating impact’

“This would have a devastating impact on the vibrancy of the town and would create hardship for those who rely on their local bank to undertake their business.

“There is a digital divide in our area and many people cannot benefit from online banking services because of the affordability of broadband.

“This is why the enclosed petition was signed in just two hours in the town centre.”

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Meanwhile council leader Andrew Morgan, who is the local councillor for Mountain Ash West, has also written to Lloyds.

In his letter to the senior manager for public affairs and head of political engagement for Wales, coun Morgan said: “Lloyds Bank is the last remaining bank in the town and the south of the Cynon Valley5.

“I am concerned that if this decision is approached as a desk top exercise, it will not be appreciated that this branch offers the only access to banking services for residents in the whole of the southern Cynon Valley.

‘I would urge you to protect this branch’

“I would urge you to protect this branch for this reason and for the fact that any potential closure would have an incredibly negative impact on the town centre and foot fall visiting the High Street in Mountain Ash.

“I am aware of the continued push by the banking sector to direct customers online but this move would disadvantage many loyal customers who live not only in Mountain Ash but also in Aberaman6, Abercynon7 and Penrhiwceiber.”

The letter adds: “I am seeking an immediate response on this matter so that I can reassure residents and traders that Lloyds Mountain Ash, as the last remaining branch in the town, will not be affected.”

In Mach 2015, Lloyds became the last bank in the town when Barclays closed, while the Lloyds branch reduced its opening hours.

References

  1. ^ Mountain Ash (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Rhondda Cynon Taf council (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  3. ^ it will cut 3,000 jobs and 200 branches (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  4. ^ vowed to be “pro-active not reactive” in lobbying Lloyds (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  5. ^ Cynon Valley (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  6. ^ Aberaman (www.walesonline.co.uk)
  7. ^ Abercynon (www.walesonline.co.uk)

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