Santander Closures and Local Communities — [Philip Davies in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 2:14 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact 2:14 pm, 14th February 2019

In Reading, as in Sutton, the difference in mileage is relatively small, but congestion and extra traffic mean that it represents significant travel time. We cannot compete with the 15 miles that people have to travel in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Angus.

I will make a final point and then let other hon. Members speak. When banks decide to close, we have to make sure that there is still access to a cashpoint network, so people who rely on cash—although that is dying down a bit—have access to it. When I was a local councillor in the neighbouring constituency of Carshalton, I spoke to a baker who had been badly affected when Barclays and its cashpoint closed there. That village relied on its independent shops, but after the cashpoint closed, people tended to turn left, towards the larger supermarkets, rather than right, where the smaller independent shops are. Previously, people had walked past the independent shops to get their cash and would spend money in the bakers and the other smaller shops on their way to do their main shop. Branch closures have a detrimental effect and we need to look at the issue holistically to make sure that we have a thriving, albeit changing, high street.