Somerset

Glastonbury Lloyds to shut despite 6,000 signature petition

Glastonbury High Street
Image caption The closure in Glastonbury will mean people will need to go to Street to visit a bank

The last bank branch in a Somerset town will close later despite a petition signed by about 6,000 residents and local businesses to keep it open.

Lloyds says customers are not using its branch in Glastonbury enough and has decided to shut it.

It comes after HSBC and Barclays each closed branches in the town recently.

Campaign group Last Bank Standing criticised the move and said Lloyds was "neglecting a large chunk of the population".

Spokesman Paul Manning said: "I fully agree that people are banking online, but [Lloyds] are not thinking of their customers, because 30% of them don't.

"Particularly the elderly and the more socially-disadvantaged who won't, or can't use the internet."

'Absolutely outrageous'

Mr Manning said the closure would affect the economy of the town.

"If somebody goes to another local town to use the bank, then they are more inclined to use the local shops there rather than going to the ones in Glastonbury," he said.

The group started the print-based and online petition against the closure, and has organised a protest outside the bank when it closes at 14:00 BST.

Glastonbury Festival organiser Michael Eavis described the closure as "absolutely outrageous" at a previous protest.

A number of towns in Somerset have lost their banks in recent times including Williton, Dulverton and Martock.

Lloyds Bank apologised to customers and said it was a "difficult decision" to close the branch.

It said only about 30 people used it on a regular basis, and recommended customers use its closest alternative branch, two miles (3.2 km) away in Street.

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