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Conservative chairman, Richard Holden, comes to Diss to help launch banks campaign in town





Diss welcomed the chairman of the Conservative Party to the town as he helped to launch a campaign about keeping banks on our high streets.

Richard Holden joined Suffolk county councillor Richard Rout, who has been selected by the party to contest the new Waveney Valley seat, in Mere Street on March 7.

Mr Rout is hoping to win the newly created seat which includes parts of north Suffolk and south Norfolk such as Stowupland, Bungay, Diss, Harleston and Halesworth.

Richard Rout with Conservative party chairman, Richard Holden, in Diss. Picture: Richard Rout
Richard Rout with Conservative party chairman, Richard Holden, in Diss. Picture: Richard Rout

He said: “As chairman of the party, Richard has given himself the goal of visiting every seat before the general election.

“He got in touch and I told him that we have this really big issue in Diss and the surrounding areas with banks closing and I was really pleased he wanted to get involved with the launch of my campaign.

“High street banks closing is one of those things wherever someone stands politically, access to banks is a unifying issue.

Richard Rout with Conservative Party chairman, Richard Holden, in Diss.
Richard Rout with Conservative Party chairman, Richard Holden, in Diss.

“Whether it be for those that do not have access to the internet and online banking or for businesses and charities that have cash customers, it is very important to residents.

“We have already received overwhelming support for the campaign because even those that do online banking recognise that there are those for whom access to cash and and someone to speak to at a bank is essential.”

The Barclays Bank on Market Hill in Diss as well as Framlingham’s Market Hill branch closed in August last year and Harleston’s Market Place branch is set to close around the end of May.

Mr Rout added: “So this shows it is a massive issue across small market towns and though there are some pop-up banks in the likes of The Corn Hall in Diss, it is not the same as a physical bank on the high street.

Richard Rout, Conservative candidate for the new Waveney Valley seat Picture: Mecha Morton
Richard Rout, Conservative candidate for the new Waveney Valley seat Picture: Mecha Morton

“Since I was selected in early October for this new seat, permanent places to bank has definitely been an issue that residents, particularly in Diss, have continued to ask me.

“So I have been making it my purpose to voice the concerns of the constituency on this subject and this campaign is the start of that.”

As well as joining Mr Rout for the campaign launch, the party chairman also went to the town’s doorsteps.

Asked what other issues came up, Mr Rout said: “The Norwich to Tilbury pylons came up a lot when I talked to residents and, like them, I want to see it offshore as a possible first port.

“Failing that I would look to want to improve the scheme and possibly the route with more of it underground, to protect those special areas.

“Also, access to NHS dentistry and the budget came up as well – there was a good response to that really with the fact that NI contributions were coming down.”

Another thing for Diss residents which was voiced to Mr Rout on the day were the plans to possibly move the post office.

He said: “It was a mixed response to that – most wanted it to stay where it is now, but just that it was not another service which was closing its doors was also seen by some as something of a win.

“It was not total unhappiness like with the banks closing but listening to what the majority in Diss were saying to me, in my time talking to them, most really want the proposed move to be scrapped and for it to stay where it is.”



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