Businesses and Maghull Town Council Labour Councillors have joined forces to launch a petition calling on Barclays Bank to reconsider its decision to close its Maghull branch.
Barclays Bank has announced that the bank on Liverpool Road South will close on March 7.
While a new branch will open at Asda in Aintree, angry customers have contacted Maghull Town Council Labour Councillors concerned that far too many people will not be able to make the trip either to Asda or to the next nearest high-street branch in Kirkby or Bootle.
The neighbouring businesses on Liverpool Road South are concerned that the closure of the bank will have a detrimental effect on footfall and impact the local economy.
Maghull Town Council Labour Councillors and the Liverpool Road South businesses have launched a petition.
The petition states: "Barclays Bank has been in Maghull for over 50 years. We believe that this move goes against Barclays' stated position on corporate social responsibility. The closure will have a huge social cost for the businesses and residents of Maghull many of whom have been loyal customers of Barclays for years. Its closure will cause a lot of inconvenience to existing customers as the nearest Barclays is over four miles away. The area has many older residents who will find it extremely difficult to travel to the nearest alternative branch. It will have an adverse effect on local businesses in Maghull and on the Sefton trading estate due to increased travel time and loss of a local branch. We call on Barclays to reconsider the proposed closure to be a listening bank."
Ian Parkes, owner of the hairdressers and barber shop, said the closure of the bank is damaging for the local community.
Ian said: "My customers are really angry. Everyone is talking about it when they come in. They're asking how can people make the journey to the nearest full branch in Kirkby or Bootle.
"I have been here on this road for 30 years, Barclays bank has been here for 50. It is part of this community. My customers are customers of the bank. And I really feel for the bank staff who are a really helpful team, but who now face being split up and sent off to various branches.
"Barclays say they consulted customers, but I am a customer and I wasn't asked. No one here in Maghull think this a good idea and I hope we can all put pressure on them to reconsider."
Rob Bray, who owns Costcuter, which is next door to Barclays, said the bank's closure could be devastating for the neighbouring local businesses.
Rob said: "People who use the bank pop into the other businesses. That will all come to an end and it will have a real impact on trade here. I have real concerns for the future for all the businesses here because of this.
"This isn't good for anyone, be it local bank customers, the local community, or the other local businesses. And Barclays haven't once asked us as either customers or neighbours what we think of this decision.
"That is why we have launched this petition with Maghull Town Council to get as many people as possible to sign up and send Barclays a message that they are making the wrong decision in closing this bank."
Maghull Town Council Labour leader Cllr Patrick McKinley and Cllr June Burns were both the first to sign the petition.
Cllr McKinley said: "When I was approached by Ian regarding the proposed closure I was more than happy to be of assistance.
“I believe the social cost to the local community as a result of this closure will be very significant. Older people, those who are less mobile and local businesses will all suffer. This is another example of supposed business efficiency gains, at the cost of the local community.
“Issues like this are the things that are killing our local town centres and destroying the concept of local services for local people.
“As a town council we are committed to doing everything in our power to develop Maghull and protect what we have. Campaigns such as this enable us to speak with one voice.
“I urge as many people as possible to sign the petition. This campaign certainly has the backing of the Labour Councillors on Maghull Town Council and it will be raised at the next council meeting seeking the support of all councillors
"Barclays' Liverpool Road South is an established bank and is a part of the community. The customers who have contacted us with concerns about the bank's plans all say that the bank staff in that branch are a great team and always do all they can to help. It would be a real shame for Barclays to lose that.”
Cllr Burns said the bank was a part of this community.
Cllr Burns said: "I fully agree with the local businesses here. This bank is a part of the community and we need to do all we can to let Barclays see that it is in their interests for the bank to remain here.
"Times are tough enough for many local businesses, it could make things really difficult for the them if they lose the footfall from the bank customers.
"I urge everyone, whether you are a Barclays Bank customer or not, to pop into one of the businesses on Liverpool Road South and sign the petition."