John Whittingdale joined local residents and Councillors for a meeting with representatives of Barclays bank to urge them to reconsider the decision to close the Barclays Branch in Southminster. Attending the meeting from Barclays were Jon Clowes, Barclays Regional Network Area Manager, and Irene East, Corporate Affairs Manager, as well as the Branch Manager, Jo Fowles. Also present were Cllr Penny Channer (Leader of Maldon DC), Cllr Bob Boyce (County Councillor for Southminster), Cllr Brian Beal (Chairman, Southminster Parish Council), Rev Ken Dunstan, and local residents, Tom McQuillen, John Anderson, and Kay Maudsley.
John Whittingdale said: “The loss of the Barclays Branch in Southminster will come as a real blow to the local community. Many depend on the branch in order to obtain cash or to pay bills and find it impossible to travel to the next nearest bank in Burnham. The recent closure of the Post Office in Southminster has made the situation even worse. I was pleased that Barclays were willing to meet us and to listen to the points we raised. I very much hope that even at this stage they will reconsider. However, if this is not possible, we pressed them at least to postpone the closure until a new sub-post office is established in the village in order that residents are not left without any services. In addition, we welcomed the fact that Barclays are exploring the possibility of installing an ATM machine”