Conservatives urge NatWest not to close branch in Blackheath

Councillor Geoff Brighty, Malcolm Reid and Thomas Turrell have urged Natwest not to proceed with the planned closure of the Blackheath and Westcombe Park Branch in June.

Conservative Councillor for Blackheath Westcombe ward, Geoff Brighty and council candidates Malcolm Reid and Thomas Turrell launched a petition earlier this year. The petition was signed by over 220 local people and was supported by local traders. The three have now written to senior management at the bank enclosing the petition to request the closure be abandoned. In their letter they highlight that disabled access at the branch is superior to that at the Greenwich branch, where customers are being re-diverted, a point which was bought up in the comment section by disabled customers.

Councillor Geoff Brighty said “I am concerned about the impact of the closure on the Standard. Local people and traders want to have a branch where they can see someone face to face. Not everything can be done over the phone, via an app or over the internet. The branch is always busy so I don’t see the logic in closing it”.

Conservative candidate for Blackheath Westcombe, Thomas Turrell, added “Customers of the branch used the comment section to highlight the inadequate disabled access at the Greenwich branch. We have passed these concerns on and hope Natwest will listen. Many local traders use the branch and research has shown that bank closures can hit nearby local shops in a negative way. We want to support the fantastic shops across Blackheath Westcombe so hope that Natwest abandon the planned closure of the branch”.

You can read the text of the letter below: 

Petition: Keep Blackheath and Westcombe Park Natwest Open

We are writing to you regarding the decision on the 1st December 2017 to close the Blackheath and Westcombe Park Natwest Branch on Old Dover Road as of the 19th June 2018.

While it is welcome to hear that that three cash machines on site will be retained we are disappointed in the decision to close such a well used branch. The branch is used by many of the traders at the Blackheath Standard, business which you could now lose to Barclays as this decision will leave only a Barclays in the area.

Further to this, residents with disabilities used the comment section on the petition to highlight the alternative bank, Greenwich branch, does not have the same disabled access as offered by the branch on Old Dover Road, as the Greenwich branch is in an older building and many services are based in the upstairs section.

The petition has been signed by 228 residents and we hope that Natwest will reconsider the decision to close the branch.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Geoff Brighty                   Malcolm Reid                  Thomas Turrell