Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Finally, cash machine returns

A CASH machine is to be installed at Sonning Common village hall.

A CASH machine is to be installed at Sonning Common village hall.

NatWest will pay the parish council £3,000 a year to have the device on the outside wall to the right of the entrance.

It comes almost five months after the bank closed its branch in Peppard Road — the only bank in the village — despite a campaign by residents to save it. A cash machine remained at the premises but didn’t work properly for six weeks.

In a report to a meeting of Sonning Common Parish Council on Monday, parish clerk Philip Collings said: “There was some angst over the closure of the branch and NatWest obviously wants to go on providing a service.”

The cash machine will be housed in a large container known as a Bastion ATM room, which provides protection against armed robbers and vandals.



Mr Collings said the room would be installed in an area currently used for storage and invisible to the public.

NatWest will have access to it in order to refill the machine. Councillor Leigh Rawlins raised concern about potential damage to the building if anyone tried to break into the machine.

Mr Collings said the hall’s insurance policy would cover any damage and rebuilding costs.

Councillor Chrissie Phillips- Tilbury said the council would have to move cables used for lighting the Christmas tree each year.

Councillor Dirk Jones, who led a campaign to save the bank, said the new location of the cash machine could encourage drivers to park on the double yellow lines outside the hall in Wood Lane.

He added: “I think we should bring the bank back as well.”

The bank used to be open 18 hours per week on three days. NatWest blamed a fall in the number of customers using it, saying the total was just 29 per week.

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