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North Yorkshire Council intervenes over access to cash machines in rural areas

North Yorkshire Council intervenes over access to cash machines in rural areas

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 5:35pm 19th March 2019.

Rural residents look set to be urged to support proposals to introduce cash machines in areas which have been hit by bank closures.

  • North Yorkshire County Council is asking all 72 of its councillors to put forward sites they think would benefit from a cash machine
  • It's after the announcement of several bank closures across the county
  • The council says the closures are not taking into account the full impact on rural communities

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive is expected to approve an unusual move by a local authority to intervene over increasing gaps in banking services provision following a review by councillors.

The authority looks set to ask all 72 of its councillors to identify sites where an additional ATM might be of benefit to residents ahead of applications being submitted to the UK’s largest cash machine network Link.

The executive will also consider dispatching its stronger communities team to help coordinate cash machine proposals by encouraging communities to support applications and provide evidence of need.

An officers’ report to the executive states:

“For the delivery of community led facilities to be successful, there has to be individual members of the community willing to lead on their delivery.

“There has been a number of success stories across the region, for example at Hawes, where they formed the Upper Dales Community Partnership to run their own post office, police station, library, petrol station and a fleet of community minibuses.”

The move follows councillors finding decisions over bank closures were not taking account of the full impact upon rural communities and smaller businesses and that assumptions were being made about the ability of post offices to fill the resulting gap in banking services.

The review, by the authority’s Corporate and Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee, concluded that it was “unable to say with confidence that banks were fully considering their corporate social responsibility as part of their decision making around the closure of a branch bank”.

It also highlighted their concern for the number of people that may get left behind without access to banking services, as a move towards a cash-less society and dependence upon online technologies continued.