Concern being voiced over loss of free cashpoints in Borders

Concerns are being voiced over the disappearance of free cash machines from towns and villages in the Borders.

Councillor Davie Paterson at the cashpoint outside Hawick's Sandbed Post Office.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor David Paterson is asking Scottish Borders Council to write to ministers at westminster and Holyrood to plead the case for isolated communities left reliant on cashpoints now their bank branches have closed.

At the full council meeting being held tomorrow, May 16, at Kelso’s Tait Hall, Mr Paterson will ask fellow councillors to agree that the council regrets the loss of ATM machines in rural areas and expresses concern that some machines will now charge users for withdrawing their own money.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

If the motion passes, council leader Shona Haslam would also be compelled to write to both the UK and Scottish governments outlining the concerns of the local authority.

Mr Paterson said: “The reason that I put up the notice of motion was quite simple – when some of the poorest people in society are now getting their benefits paid into banks and post offices that are now closing, they are having to pay to get out their own money.  

“No one should have to pay to get out their own money out of the bank.

“People are saying that ATMs are private and independent from the banks, and that may well be so, but banks have been making millions for years, so why should hard-pressed working people be paying to withdraw their hard-won cash.”

“The banks could easily shoulder the burden of what it costs on their massive shoulders.”

Mr Paterson’s motion will be heard within days of Hawick’s Sandbed Post Office closing unexpectedly and until further notice, potentially leading to the loss of another cash machine in the town.

Although Hawick does have a second post office at Burnfoot, it closes earlier than the one at Sandbed did and doesn’t offer the same range of services.