YP Letters: Why our towns need to bank on the banks being there

What can be done to stop the latest raft of bank branch closures?

From: Alec Denton, Guiseley.

THE article by Chris Burn (The Yorkshire Post, January 4) on bank closures touched a very raw nerve. I live in the once admired town of Guiseley, where by March this year we will have lost four of our five banks, with the fifth rumoured to go shortly after.

Surely in a town of some 15,000 there is enough business to support at least one bank?

Like the commuters who bank during their city-based lunchtimes, the communities ‘served’ by the banks are the least of their concerns.

Commuters also will suffer at the weekends, because six ATMs will reduce to one and perhaps they may realise the truth of the old adage ‘use it or lose it’.

The tragedy is that, although our lone surviving Post Office will hopefully continue to provide the only non-supermarket ATM. Successive socialist and Conservative administrations, by concentrating on short-term financial gain, failed the public badly by blocking the natural development of the Post Office into a genuine People’s Bank, probably because the big boys were afraid of competition – a very sad state of affairs.

From: Philip Hellawell, Brighouse Wood Lane, Brighouse.

I WAS sorry to read of the bad times which have befallen Wath-upon-Dearne since its bank branches have been closed. As the article says, this is far from unique, a fact which I know from personal experience.

In 1967 the Halifax Building Society transferred me from head office to its full-time managed branch in Elland.

At that time the town could also boast full-time branches of Lloyds; Martins, Midland; National Provincial and Yorkshire Banks plus a sub-branch of Barclays. Not only that but Martins, Lloyds and the Halifax had daily sub-branches in West Vale, barely a mile away.

Now Elland is completely bank-less, with Lloyds Group shamefully closing both its Halifax and Lloyds branches in the town within a matter of weeks. None of them have even left a cash machine in the shopping centre.

It’s all well and good talking about changing banking habits – which the banks have been vigorously encouraging in the first place – but, having had a 50 year career in finance, you can’t tell me that a town which once boasted branches of seven major banking institutions cannot viably support even one today.

From: Shaun Beal, Thorne.

I NOTE the article about Wath-upon-Dearne’s banks. A similar story is happening in Thorne. HSBC closed down but kept Epworth open; they claimed it was busier?

Yorkshire Bank closed and I believe NatWest are leaving which may leave one bank (Lloyds) and one building society.

The buildings are not fit for many other purposes. With the banks going, you also lose the cash machines as well.

NHS let down by lack of funds

From: Kamran Hussain, Chair, Yorkshire and Humber Liberal Democrats.

THIS year has started with the news that NHS bosses have ordered more non-urgent operations to be cancelled.

This follows on from reports at the end of 2017 that almost 59,000 patients suffered ambulance waits for at least 30 minutes before being admitted to A&E in December, whilst nearly 11,200 waited more than an hour.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens had warned that the health service in England needed at least £4bn more in the Budget, but the Chancellor allocated only £1.6bn.

The lack of funding by the Conservative government has resulted in the NHS being unable to deal with the pressures of an average winter. The head of the NHS has been warning for months that there would be a crisis and this is a latest sign that he is absolutely right. The response by the Conservative Government is wholly inadequate. They have failed the NHS which needs urgent funding. The most sensible and honest way of finding money for the NHS is putting a penny on the pound in income tax.

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

STOP having a go at Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt about the NHS and its recurrent crises (The Yorkshire Post, January 4 and 5). The Tories didn’t invent the NHS – that was the Labour Party in the 1940s, who, well-intentioned though they were, were also economically illiterate.

They saddled the country with a nationalised health service which was unnecessary and unsustainable. Witness the imposition of prescription charges within months of their pet project getting underway.

At least Aneurin Bevan had the good grace to resign over that – if only today’s Labour leaders were honest enough to admit that they got it wrong.

From: Paul Muller, Woodthorpe Gardens Wakefield.

JUNIOR doctor Lucie Cocker (The Yorkshire Post, January 5) makes excellent points and gives the solution to the revitalisation of our failing NHS.

NHS England and the Department of Health must read her article and then put all her recommendations into effect urgently because, at the moment, the NHS cannot fulfil its contract to its patients.

The few doctors and nurses left in the hospitals are grossly overworked and so they are beginning to leave. No wonder young people no longer wish to go into nursing.

Wrong Richard

From: Diana M Priestley, Darley Dale, Derbyshire.

RICHARD III, the “King in the Car Park”, has had so much publicity that he must be the best known of our kings – always excepting Henry VIII. So I see no excuse for the report (The Yorkshire Post, January 1) on the re-enactment of the Battle of Wakefield, where his portrait is captioned with the name of his father, Richard, Duke of York who died at Wakefield in 1460 when the future King Richard, born 1452, was still a young boy.

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