When the announcement came about the closure of Barclays bank I arranged a meeting with the local Manager who informed me they would like to keep a member of staff in the town, we arranged to meet in the council office to see if any of our rooms would be suitable. It was then decided to hold a meeting with the area Business manager and other managers and assistant bank managers of the Brightlingsea branch. They asked that the Town Clerk, chairman of the Business Ass. and myself could be present. I asked if the Mayor could also be invited. We meet at the local branch of the bank on Tuesday 1st July.
Barclays explained the reason behind their decision to close and although I had already been informed by the area manager of their plans to help the local people, they would hold teach and learn mornings to help with internet banking and show local residents how they could pay in cash and cheques into the post office we all felt this was aimed at personal accounts and nothing was put into place for business accounts. Now we understand that businesses can pay into the post office as normal but there are no facilities for change and drawing money out. Barclays have said they would arrange another meeting to see how things are going at the end of August.
The National Papers have also picked up on the closure.
On Wednesday 2nd July I had arranged a meeting with Lloyds Business Bank manager to explain how their banking system worked. 15 Businesses turned up, but unfortunately the business manger was not well prepared, but he explained that there are 3 different levels of charges and he would have to speak to each of us as individuals. They would also give everyone free banking for 6months. I understand quite a few people have been into the bank and found him much better at explaining to them and have changed their accounts over.
Graham steady and I have attended a welfare call at the request of some local residents who applied for disability Working allowance in December last year and are still waiting to be assessed. I have tried to push this ahead but am told by ATOS (the company that does the assessing) that it takes at least 7 months to assess anyone. Letters have been written to the DWP to ask for an independent assessor and also to Bernard Jenkin MP