CHELFORD residents have said they have ‘lost faith’ in their MP George Osborne for ‘giving up’ on the fight to save the village’s only bank.
On April 24, Mr Osborne paid a visit to Chelford Post Office to find out about the banking services that will be offered to residents after the village’s Natwest branch closes.
Natwest made the decision to close the branch, open 7 hours per week, due to a ‘significant drop’ in customers and the branch will shut its doors on June 18.
Following his visit Mr Osborne said: “Natwest’s decision to close the Chelford branch was very disappointing and I am working closely with the Bank and Post Office to move facilities to Chelford Post Office on the roundabout.
“It will be further to walk for some residents but it will be open every weekday and Saturday mornings instead of the 7 hours a week of the existing branch in the village.
“I think this is going to be the best solution and keeps banking services locally in Chelford.”
Residents who have been campaigning to stop the closure have hit out at Mr Osborne’s assertions and have criticized their MP for not informing them of his visit, especially as they have liaised with Mr Osborne with regards to the issue.
David Kent, a representative of Chelford Tenants and Residents Association (CTARA), said: “Mr Osborne, if you feel so strongly about this then come and meet with the people it affects in Chelford.
“An ‘undercover visit’ to the local PO does no one any good or enhance the confidence of the community.”
The petition to save the facility currently stands at 600 signatures.
“In essence, Mr Osborne has paid total disregard and without compassion for the older, disabled, business and farming community of Chelford, people will not forget this when it comes to voting at the next election,” added David.
Fellow campaigner Howard Leach said he was disgusted with Mr Osborne’s statement.
He said that residents, in particular the elderly, need qualified professionals to advise them and that the alternative service being offered is inadequate.
He added: “The Post Office is not a solution to the problem and in my opinion, and the opinion of many of the local people, the MP is simply using The Post Office as a ‘scapegoat’ so he does not have to deal with the problem in question.”