KINVER'S MP Gavin Williamson has slammed plans by Barclay's to close the village's only bank.

The Conservative MP for South Staffordshire, who is the Government's Chief Whip, says closure of the Kinver High Street branch would cause huge problems for businesses and residents particularly elderly and disabled villagers.

He said: "I am shocked and disgusted at Barclays' plans to close Kinver's only bank. The bank is a crucial facility in the village and it is ridiculous to close it. Residents would be forced to travel to Stourbridge to visit their nearest bank, which is atrocious.

"Kinver only has one cash machine which is located at Barclays. This closure will have a real negative effect on the vitality of the village centre if residents and visitors alike can't get access to cash.

"I have called for an urgent meeting with Barclays to express my complete dissatisfaction with this plan. I will be pressing them to reconsider this decision, and will want to know what action they are looking to take to address this problem."

Bosses at Barclays have stressed they do not take the decision to close a branch lightly and Chris Payne, community banking director for Barclays in the West Midlands, said: “The way customers undertake their banking is changing as people increasingly use online, telephone and mobile devices. At Barclays Kinver branch, 43 per cent of our customers now regularly use alternative branches, which is why we have taken the difficult decision to close it.

"We hope the availability of our nearest Barclays branch in Stourbridge, as well as access to services at the local Post Office at Potter Cross Store, 4 White Hill in Kinver, along with our range of digital channels will help to ease the transition for our customers.”

The bank has been earmarked to close on Friday October 27 and meanwhile Barclays chiefs have said ahead of the closure they will be working with businesses and the community to highlight alternative ways that customers will be able to undertake banking in the future.

They will also be hosting ‘tea and teach’ sessions at the Kinver branch for customers wishing to explore digital banking.