MP says Long Stratton Barclays bank closure ‘hasty’

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has criticized the “very disappointing” decision to close the Barclays branch in Long Stratton.

The branch, in The Street, which Barclays say has witnessed a 47 per cent decline in usage since 2008, is due to close on September 18.

Barclays Long Stratton ANL-150107-154346009

Barclays Long Stratton ANL-150107-154346009

The Conservative MP has written to the Group Chief Executive of Barclays, Anthony Jenkins, urging him ‘look again’ at the decision.

In his letter, he explained Long Stratton had been earmarked for 1,800 homes as part of the Joint Core Strategy for the greater Norwich development area, which has already been approved by the Planning Inspector.

Mr Bacon said: “Barclays’ decision is very disappointing and has come completely out of the blue.

“This move seems extraordinarily short-sighted given that Long Stratton will be the single most important area for housing growth in South Norfolk in the years ahead. Residents deserved to have an opportunity to save the branch on the understanding that they needed to ‘use it or lose it’.

“I am particularly concerned that it is Long Stratton’s older residents and community organisations who will be hit hardest by this decision. It is not always possible or convenient for older residents to travel to Barclays branches in Diss, Harleston or Eaton.

“Not everyone wants to bank on the internet or is even able to do so”.

“Having helped to crash the whole Western world seven to eight years ago, as well as having engaged in a wide variety of dubious and baroque practices too numerous to mention here, the banks really do need to try harder if they expect to regain the trust of the public.

“I have asked Barclays to look again at this decision and work with me, South Norfolk Council and the local community to find a way to keep the Long Stratton branch open.”