Following the announcement that the Barclays bank branch in Farningham will close in September, Michael has written to the Barclays CEO expressing his disappointment at the decision.
Michael expressed his concern that his constituents may be left without access to the banking services they need, asking what consultations Barclays has held with its customers and businesses before announcing the closure.
‘I am concerned that my constituents have not been sufficiently consulted before the decision was taken by Barclays to close their local branch’, he writes: ‘a strong local economy needs the support of a good local bank.’
Barclays says that its customers have been informed and recommended customers use local Post Offices for their banking services. But Michael urges Barclays to ensure that the local Post Offices ‘meet the full range of customer needs’ for personal customers and businesses in his letter.
The proposed closure of Barclays in Farningham comes two months after Lloyds Bank announced that its New Ash Green branch would close in July. Michael sent a letter along with a petition opposing the closure signed by over 900 people to Lloyds Banking Group calling for answers.
Michael said: ‘This closure may have a huge impact on the lives of people and businesses in Farningham. We need answers from Barclays. I will continue to work with local councillors, businesses and residents, and the Post Office itself, to ensure that my constituents will not be left without the services they rely on.’
Michael has written to Lloyds Banking Group to call for ‘complete transparency’ regarding their recent announced closure of the branch in New Ash Green.
In the letter, Michael asks what consultations Lloyds has held with its customers and businesses before announcing the closure, scheduled for 5th July 2017. He writes: ‘I am concerned that my constituents have not been sufficiently consulted before the decision was taken by Lloyds Banking Group to close their local branch’.
Michael has urged Lloyds to consider the ‘drastic impact’ the closure would have on personal customers, particularly elderly customers, and local businesses in the letter.
He also raises questions about the viability of the alternative banking services recommended by Lloyds: ‘There should be complete transparency surrounding the decision to close a local branch and a comprehensive impact assessment should be published with sufficient consideration of the alternatives available’.
Cllr Claire Pearsall delivered a petition to save the Lloyds Bank branch in New Ash Green to Michael. The petition has over 900 signatures. Michael has sent the petition on to Lloyds Banking Group along with a copy of his letter.
On Friday, Michael was pleased to open a new kitchen at New Ash Green Primary School.
Michael met the school council and spoke to pupils in a school assembly, answering questions on a variety of local and national topics.
The school’s new kitchen was funded by £180,000 from the Government as part of the universal infant free schools meals programme. Work took place during the summer holidays and the kitchen is now in use. The meals have been well received by parents and pupils.
Michael also visited Horizon Primary Academy in Swanley, where he met pupils participating in their new Scouting initiative, and Hextable Primary School in Swanley, where he reviewed the school’s progress and recent expansion.
Michael said: “It was great to visit three excellent local schools. I very much enjoyed opening New Ash Green Primary School’s new kitchen; healthy school meals help pupils to achieve their best and I am pleased that Government funding made the difference. Horizon Primary Academy is to be congratulated on its scouting initiative and I will work to ensure that Hextable Primary School’s recent expansion is properly funded.”
For more information, please visit New Ash Green Primary School’s website.
Michael has been holding meetings with local Conservative District Council candidates recently and more are to come over the next few days and weeks.
Last week over 40 residents from Knockholt met Cllrs Gary Williamson and John Grint from the Halstead, Knockholt and Badgers Mount Ward.
Last night there were 80 in the audience in New Ash Green Village Hall to meet Claire Pearsall and Cllrs Cameron Clark and Alan Pett standing for Ash and New Ash Green.
Questions have covered zero hours contracts, defence, the size of the army, fracking, immigration, Right to Buy, the economy and the deficit, foreign affairs and the Middle East, Trident, taxation and local issues such as the Fort Halstead planning application, New Ash Green village regeneration and speeding traffic on country roads.