Parish Council pushes for much-needed banking hub for Saddleworth

SADDLEWORTH Parish Council is looking to solve the area’s banking shortage by attracting a new hub.

Closures of branches and the withdrawal of cash machines have left many facing a journey to be able to get their money as three quarters of options have disappeared since 2015.

Tesco supermarket in Greenfield has an ATM, while they are also available inside Uppermill’s Co-Op and the store in Delph.

Post Offices in Delph, Uppermill, Greenfield, Dobcross and Diggle also conduct cash deposits and withdrawals.

Uppermill Former Natwest cash machine
Former Natwest cash machine in Uppermill

But when they are closed, the number of places where money can be withdrawn is diminishing.

Now the parish council has approached LINK, which decides where they should be placed, about having one on the doorstep of its 25,000 residents.

A spokesperson said: “Banking Hubs are commissioned by LINK and operated by the Post Office in partnership with major high street banks.

“Saddleworth Parish Council has been in touch with LINK to see if a banking hub can be established in Saddleworth and we can report that LINK is currently looking into the feasibility.

“25,000 residents and businesses have to rely on the limited banking resources provided by local Post Office branches – or travel into Oldham town centre.

“Bringing back banking to the people of Saddleworth is an urgent requirement which is why we are exploring the possibility of setting up a local banking hub to provide businesses and residents with full banking facilities – on their doorstep.”

Former Barclays bank in Lees

Seeing a banking hub set up would delight Cllr Sam Al-Hamdani, who believes a one for Saddleworth is needed, with the area’s size a prime reason.

The Parish’s Liberal Democrat group leader said: “The sheer size of Saddleworth – about 50 per cent of the whole of the Oldham borough – means it is really easy for people to be isolated, and that means the lack of services really hits hard.

“We are seeing banks closing in the centre of Oldham, they have long gone from the villages of Saddleworth and we need alternatives.

“Banking hubs are exactly that and I can’t understand why Link haven’t already identified the area as being in need of additional support.”

It is not just banking hubs that Saddleworth Parish Council is tackling – disappearing cash machines are also on its agenda.

The spokesperson added: “We recently wrote to Tesco about the ATMs at their Greenfield superstore.

“There used to be two but one has been closed and the other has been out of order on a number of occasions.

“We want to see the closed ATM reinstated so that if one isn’t working, customers can get cash from the other.

“However, Tesco claims that usage doesn’t warrant having two ATMs and that the issues with the remaining one have now been fixed.

“We will be writing to the chief executive of Tesco to see if more can be done.”


One Reply to “Parish Council pushes for much-needed banking hub for Saddleworth”

  1. We moved to Spain to a similar sized town that has 6 fully staffed. Banks. Why in a town. Of Uppermill size there isn’t one bank. It’s scandalous.

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